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Full text of "The Goloid Dollar: Statements before the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures upon the subject of coinage and the goloid dollar"

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45th Congress, > HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. ( Mis. Doc. 
2^ Session. f [ No. 24. 






Subject of coinage and the goloid dollar. 

February 5, 1878— Recommitted to the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Meas- 
ures, and ordered to be printed. 

Washington, D. C., January 17, 1878. 


Mr. Vance. I would like to have your views on the “goloid” oues- 
tion. 1 

Dr. Linderman. Mr. Chairman, in 1873, when the threatened change 
or alteration in the relative values of the precious metals first attracted 
the attention of the country, and which was in consequence of the de- 
monetization of silver by the German Empire, a somewhat similar propo- 
sition to the one now before the committee was presented to me in a 
communication from L. A. Garnett, of San Francisco. 

The color of that coin so alloyed would differ in no respect from that 
of the silver coins of nine-tenths or eleven-twelfths fineness. That was 
one and the principal objection. The other was derived from the fact 
that it differed from all coins and standards of value adopted among 
the civilized nations of the world. 

On account of these two objections the project was abandoned at that 
time. The same person subsequently, in a verbal communication, con- 
tended that we should have our gold combined with other metals, so as 
to keep it from being melted down. 

I held then that it would detract from its value, first as money, and 
second as bullion, and that it should be in a shape to be convertible 
readily into one or the other. This present proposition has passed under 
my consideration, and I have had a coin produced of standard silver 
with the same impressions as the goloid dollar, in order to show you the 
unifarreVy in color of the two coins. 

I will take one of these (exhibiting the two coins) goloid dollars, and 
will place it with another of standard silver of the same weight mid 
struck on the same die. I shall have to look myself to see which one 
is the goloid dollar. One of these is goloid and one is not. It is very 



difficult for anybody to tell the difference, for the general appearance is 
the same. The difference between one and the other is not perceptible. 
One is worth about 60 cents and the other is worth a dollar. 

Mr. Vance. How can you distinguish the one from the other? 

Dr. Linderman. I have it marked. 

Mr. Vance. Could you not distinguish it without the mark ? 

Dr. Linderman. I could not. 1 have looked very carefully and it 
would deceive me. This (the silver coin) is made of standard silver 
nine-tenths fine. This is the goloid. The distinction between them is 
in the one being blurred in one of the characters, the letter u O.” 

The proposition seemed a very ingenious one. The purpose to be 
accomplished by it was the union of the two metals in the same coin in 
such proportions that, when combined, the silver would bear to the gold 
the ratio of about sixteen to one, so that they could not be separated, 
and make it a legal tender in payment of all debts and duties. It was 
very ingenious. I think the ready manner in which it can be imitated, 
leaving out all the gold or part of it, is a fatal objection. That is my 
candid opinion about it. 

On the questiou of its commercial value it has two aspects. One is 
that you cannot use this alloy for melting down for manufacturing plate 
and jewelry. Before these goloid coins could be converted into plate or 
into the coins of countries having other standards, the metals would 
have to be separated by what is termed parting, and which would tend 
rather to depreciate the value of the alloy. On the other hand, the 
goloid metal corresponds in some degree with the greater portions of 
the gold and silver produced going under the name of dore silver. 

This class of bullion is produced from the mines of the Comstock and 
those of Mexico. That class of bullion has generally commanded in 
Loudon something more than fine silver for refining purposes, being of 
a proportion to allow other grades of bullion to be added and the entire 
mass more cheaply refined or parted than if each mass were refined 
separately. This might compensate for the mere objection made to 
goloid from the difficulties attending the separation of the silver from 
the gold. That there is no alteration as to color, that nine grains 
of gold make no alteration that is perceptible to the eye, and that 
there would be no means of testing it or machine by which it could be 
tested, would be a very serious objection. 

I have thought it due to the committee to procure the views of the 
officers of the mint at Philadelphia. I have them here in writing and 
will leave the same with the committee, to be returned to me. 

I will, however, read the communication of the assayer, which con- 
siders the respective advantages of and objections to the introduc- 
tion of goloid. He confines himself to the technical points. 

The Chairman. The communications may be placed in the hands of 
the reporter, to be incorporated in the report. 

Dr. Linderman. These two coins (exhibiting them) are struck from 
the same die; one is the goloid dollar, tile other of standard silver. 

Mr. Vance. These two coins, the goloid and the silver dollar, are they 
of the same weight ? 

Dr. Linderman. I have just received them from the mint. I do not 
know whether they are or not. 

Mr. Vance. What would be the weight of this coin in stai^d^rd sil- 
ver ? 

Dr. Linderman. It would make it exactly 258 grains. 


Mr. Vance. Vou think a countryman would be as apt to take one as 
the other ? 

Dr. Linderman. I think he would. 

(The coius being weighed on metric scales, it was informally announced 
that the silver was the heavier by one and a half gram.) 

Dr. Linderman. The coiner was ordered to have it struck as near as 
possible of the same weight and size as the other. 

The assayer writes as follows : 

Mint of the United States at Philadelphia, 

Assay Department, January 16, 1878. 

Sir : In accordance with the order from the Director, the alloy called “ goloid ” has 
been thoroughly tested here, both before and after coinage. I have the following 
statement to make as to its properties : 

First, let me say that it does not come within my province to speak of certain points 
which are claimed as advantages, such: 1. That this mixture of gold and silver would 
destroy the rivalry between the two metals, and compel them both to be used as cur- 
rency. 2. The size of the dollar would be much reduced, as compared with the silver 
dollar. 3. It would not be melted down, to be used in manufactures. There is ob- 
viously much force in these points, and of course they will receive due consideration. 

I now take up the matter technically. 

1. Although a ternary compound — gold, silver, and copper — it mixes as well in melt- 
ing as the standard binary alloy of gold and silver. We are constantly getting these 
triple alloys. Only yesterday I reported a deposit which contained those three metals, 
in nearly the same proportions. 

2. The goloid is as ductile as standard silver, and would work as well in mintage. 

3. Its specific gravity is a little above that of standard silver, being 10.28 in the in- 
got, and 10.50 after striking in a screw-press, which is the highest compression. Stand- 
ard silver in the ingot shows 10.24, and when struck as above, 10.33. The difference 
is due to the gold present, and would afford a test of genuineness in the hands of an 
experienced operator with first-class balance. 

4. Its color is precisely that of standard silver; so would it be if the gold were ten 
times as much. It is only as we reach nearly equal proportions that the yellowish 
tint appears. 

5. Its sonority or ring is really the same as that of standard silver. The sound is 
more prolonged. But this very delicate test would be of no use to ordinary examiners. 

6. It is acted upon by the usual acid solvents precisely as standard silver is ; the 
goloid, of course, bearing a residuum of gold in powder. Neither mixture is touched 
by muriatic or hydrochloric acid, cold or hot. 

7. Nothing can be said in advance about the wear or abrasion. There is no reason 
to expect any difference. 

8. The danger of imitations, leaving the gold entirely out, would, of course, be very 
great. Assuming well-made false dies, there would be no test at all in the hands of 
ordinary dealers. Our own short test by acid-mixture entirely fails. Nothing would 
do but trying the specific gravity, which is slow work, aDd apt to be incorrectly done. 

These are all the points which come within my range as an assayer. Judged by 
those propensities, the goloid coin has no advantages. On the contrary, it would be 
held by scientific men everywhere as a retrograde movement. The study has been all 
along to get gold and silver as completely separated as possible. They are hardly in a 
merchantable shape while intermixed. For that reason they would be par.ed as soon 
as exported, and they would be worthless by so much as the cost of parting — say 1J 
cents per dollar. 

I do not agree with this exactly, for adding a higher grade of partable gold would 
overcome this. I do not regard this as an objection. The real objection I regard as 
the similarity in color. 

Within the mint the danger of getting the two metals, whether ingots or clippings, 
mixed up would require incessant watch. If it is adopted, standard silver, even for 
dimes, had better be banished. 

Dr. Linderman. If adopted for one class of coins it should be adopted 
for all coins. The assayer also suggests it ought not to be called 
“ goloid,” and that the term is a misnomer as it is not like it in appear- 
ance and the gold does not predominate. 

He further says : 

In conclusion, I beg to correct an error which is stamped on the goloid specimen 
coin — that of calling it nine-tenths (.9 fine). Standard gold is nine-tenths fine, and so is 



standard silver ; but where the two are put together the term loses its meaning. It is 
like making an addition of six oranges and three apples; they cannot be made into 
one sum. 

Very respectfully, 


Assay er. 

Hon. James Pollock, 

Superintendent , tj'C. 

(Specimen attached.) 

I inclose a slip of goloid on which a gum-elastic band was laid for one day. 

Dr. Linderman. I cannot leave this coin (the imitation). I must send 
it back to the mint and have it defaced. 

Dr. Hubbell. It has not the ring of the other. 

Dr. Linderman. After all that is said and done, the great test is color 
among the people. 

Dr. Hubbell. They have made the silver coin the heavier in order 
to show that the goloid is not of greater density, and they have made 
it thicker. 

Dr. Linderman. It is struck on the same die, so as to give it the same 
appearance. The ease with which they could counterfeit the goloid 
would render their introduction very dangerous. This coin made from 
standard silver would weigh 258 grains, which would be worth about 
sixty cents, leaving a profit of forty cents on these imitations of the 
goloid dollar. This profit would induce a large amount of counter- 

Dr. Hubbell. How many of these could be coined with the present 
force of the mint? 

Dr. Linderman. If we adopted or established this coinage no others 
would be made. We would have no occasion for two standards. 

Dr. Hubbell. The gold coins could be five, ten, and twenty dollars. 

Dr. Linderman. If these coins were adopted we would have a com- 
bined representative of the unit of value. We would have two classes 
of coins if the goloid alloy be adopted. It might perhaps do, or be 
necessary, to have double eagles. 

Dr. Hubbell. How many of these goloid dollars, with the present 
force of the mint, could you coin per month? 

Dr. Linderman. From six to eight millions. 

Dr. Hubbell. How' much could you coin of the old silver dollar? 

Dr. Linderman. About half as much, about three millions of dollars. 

Dr. Hubbell. You could coin double the quantity of goloid coin with 
the same mint capacity? 

Dr. Linderman. 1 think so; I speak of all three mints. 

Dr. Hubbell. Do you think it would be worth while for counterfeit- 
ers to use capital in purchasing silver to make these coins to secure a 
profit of forty cents? Do they usually invest so much to make so small 
a profit ? 

Dr. Linderman. Some four or five years ago there was a machine 
invented, known as the drop process for making dies, and with which 
the inventors claimed to make a better die from our coin than the mint 
dies on which the latter were struck. I wanted to have them prose- 
cuted for making these coins from dies made in that way. They went 
over the other side of the water. 1 had a letter from the master of the 
London mint recenth , and they had tried to sell their right, and re- 
ported that it had been bought by four different governments in Europe. 
They asked $20,000 for it. They then wanted to sell it to the British. 



It has been a subject of correspondence between myself and the master 
of the London mint. How long it would take to put a manufacturing 
establishment in operation for producing coin in this way we do not 
know. They could make the dies with but little cost. They did the 
work very ingeniously, and they could easily counterfeit the coin. 

Dr. Hubbell. Do not they counterfeit the present coin ? 

Dr. Linderman. No, sir; not with success. There is a sense of 
sight and touch as to gold and silver coins that is perceptible to almost 
every one. 

Dr. Hubbell. Is there not a difference between these two coins? 

Dr. Linderman. I have not been able to distinguish it. 

Dr. Hubbell. This, the silver, coin oxydizes and the goloid does not. 

Dr. Linderman. You have not had it long enough to say whether it 
does or not. 

Dr. Hubbell. Do not they also counterfeit the gold coin so that you 
cannot tell the difference between them by the color? 

Dr. Linderman. I think not. 

Dr. Hubbell. Do not they make counterfeits by putting less gold in ? 

Dr. Linderman. They may counterfeit by making false dies, but 
they must have a good margin. They would have a good margin if 
they were to leave the gold out of this coin. Forty cents would be a 
good margin on a dollar. 

Dr. Hubbell. Could not part of the gold be taken from the gold dol- 
lar without greatly changing the appearance? 

Dr. Linderman. If anything like that proportion were taken from it 
almost everybody could detect it; if eight grains, which is near a third 
of a gold dollar, were taken from it, it would be very perceptible. There 
is but very little counterfeiting of gold done. I have not seen a piece 
in ten years. I have seen some pieces that had been drilled into and 
some of the gold taken from them and the space filled up with platinum. 

Dr. Hubbell. Suppose they left a dollar’s worth of gold out of the 
eagle, and made the counterfeit by adding some other metal, would that 
be readily detected? 

Dr. Linderman. The color would show it. 

Dr. Hubbell. Do you think they could distinguish by the difference 
in color the counterfeit in such a case from the genuine eagle? 

Dr. Linderman. I think so; the nearest approach in color of any 
known composition is aluminum and copper. The weight is different. 

Dr. Hubbell. In your report from the mint the weight of the goloid 
differs from that of standard silver? 

Dr. Linderman. I have said nothing about the weight of goloid in 
my report. I do not remember which the reports of the officers of the 
mint states is the heavier. 

Dr. Hubbell. Is it not a fact that a piece of goloid would be heavier 
than a piece of standard silver of the same size and thickness ? 

Dr. Linderman. I do not know what difference there would be in the 
weight, but if it were one and one-half grains, that would still furnish 
but very little protection against the counterfeit coin. If you take one 
grain of gold from the alloy there is four cents gone, which would bo a 
pretty serious loss on a dollar, and the difference in weight would be 
very slight. We should have to use extreme care to determine the 
genuineness of coin. 

Dr. Hubbell. Did you ever try the test of light? It will throw a 
yellow reflection on the wall if the light be thrown upon it, while the 
reflection cast by the silver will be white. 

Dr. Linderman. I cannot see the difference. I cannot see how the 



difference in the reflection on the wall would be sufficient to furnish a 
practical test. I think we can conclude this brauch of the subject by 
saying that so far as we are advised there is no getting over this simi- 
larity of color. The color is substantially the same with that of stand- 
ard silver of nine-tenths or eleven-twelfths fineness, and this fine test of 
light is too delicate for use among the people. 

Dr. Hubbell. Is not that a counterfeit of the goloid dollar? 

Dr. Linderman. The impression is the same. The difference, as I 
before said, between the two coins is that in the silver coin the “O” is 

(It is suggested by the committee that this discussion be terminated, 
and that Dr. Linderman be requested to proceed with his statement 
relative to the other questions concerning which the committee have re- 
quested information.) 

The Chairman. Doctor, I will ask you a question or two. How much 
silver could be coined within twelve months with all the machinery of 
the mints? 

Dr. Linderman. We have three coinage mints. One at Philadelphia, 
one at San Francisco, and one at Carson. The latter is quite small as 
compared with the two first. 

We coined last year, with our full capacity, silver coins to the value 
of twenty-nine millions, amounting in number, perhaps, to eighty 
millions of pieces. At the same time we struck some forty millions of 
gold and some token coins, &c. 

First, the San Francisco mint, I estimate the silver-coinage capacity 
at $1,500,000, the Philadelphia mint at $1,500,000, and the Carson 
mint at about $500,000, per month, giviug as a maximum capacity 
$3,500,000 per month. We can only work our skilled hands so many 
hours. In addition to the one million five hundred thousand per month 
at the Philadelphia and San Francisco mints, we should have to make 
our gold coins, besides some fractional silver and token coins; but when 
the machinery is run on extra time, as it is sometimes done, I should 
say we could turn out thirty-six millions of silver dollars in twelve- 
months, and that that was the utmost capacity of the mints. 

The Chairman. What additional machinery would be required, and 
what would it cost, to turn out a hundred millions of silver dollars ? 

Dr. Linderman. The capacity of the two mints on the Pacific coast 
can be increased but little ; that at Philadelphia cannot be increased 
any. I do not know that any of them could be increased but by the 
addition of new machinery. Some increase could be made at the mint 
at San Francisco. Even that would give but little addition to our pres- 
ent coin capacity as to the present mints. 

The next point would be to re-establish coinage at New Orleans. W r e 
have a large mint there. The building is said to be in good condition, 
except that the wall of the building is sunk a little on one side, which 
could be easily remedied. 

An appropriation of from seventy-five to one hundred thousand dol- 
lars would enable us to put that mint in order. That would cover 
everything. I should say the capacity of the New Orleans mint would 
be nearly equal to the capacity of the Philadelphia mint; that is, for 
the coinage of silver dollars. The main coinage there would be silver 

I mention the New Orleans mint without desiring to intimate that the 
mint should be established there, and simply because we have a suitable 
building there. It would encounter the Mexican silver. When the mint 
was there we had considerable trade in foreign silver. We used to ship 



in the year 1853 a million of ounces at a time in the form of ingots to 
the Philadelphia mint from the New Orleans mint. 

Without knowing exactly the capacity of that mint, we could in rea- 
sonable time bring its coinage up to about fifteen hundred thousand 
silver dollars a month, about the same as that of the Philadelphia mint. 

Mr. Vanoe. How is it in regard to the mint at Charlotte? 

Dr. Linderman. There was a mint there for the coinage of gold be- 
fore the war 5 Charlotte, N. C. There is a very good building. 

Mr. Vance. What machinery is there there? 

Dr. Linderman. I believe there is none left. The machinery was 
taken away and stored at Philadelphia, that it might be preserved. It 
is not suitable for silver coinage. 

Mr. Vance. Do you recollect the maximum coinage of gold there ? 

Dr. Linderman. I was there in 1860. I think it ran from two to four 
hundred thousand dollars a year. I could tell exactly by looking at 
my reports ; about the same amount was coined at Dahlonega. 

The Chairman. The government has granted it to an agricultural 
college, which has three hundred students. 

Mr. Brewer. What would be the probable expense of erecting a 
building for a mint, and putting in machinery, having the capacity of 
the Philadelphia mint, for the coinage of silver dollars? 

Dr. Linderman. That would depend a good deal on who built it. 

Mr. Vance. And on where it was built? 

Dr. Linderman. Yes, sir. If it were attempted to bring stone from 
Massachusetts and carry them to Mississippi, it would cost a good deal. 
We built the little assay office at Helena, Mont., at a less cost than fifty 
thousaud dollars, and, I think, one of the same size at Boise, in Idaho, 
in 1871 or 1872 ; I can hardly recollect the exact date. I think where 
all the facilities exist for getting stoue for the foundation, and facilities 
for the making of good bricks, a good building could be put up for oue 
hundred and fifty thousand dollars — built mainly' of brick — a good, sub- 
stantial building. The machinery would cost about one hundred thou- 
sand more. 

Mr. Brewer. About two hundred and fifty thousand dollars? 

Dr. Linderman. From that to three hundred thousand dollars. I am 
not in favor of these expensive buildings. I believe the San Francisco 
mint cost nearly two millions of dollars. 

I do not see why a mint should be over two stories high, of brick. 
As far as burglars are concerned, we rely on vaults and shot-guns in the 
hands of good men — of watchmen. There is very little danger of 
attacks upon the mints. There has never been any attack made upon 
the mints. The people look upon the mints as something to be respected. 
The employes of the mints, except iu a very few instances, have never 
been guilty of wroug-doing. They seem to get character and encourage- 
ment to act rightly from the employes they find there, and show no dis- 
position to peculation. 

I would wish to make a few remarks upon another question for the 
benefit of the committee. 

There has been introduced by Mr. Cox, of New York, a bill providing 
for the coinage of five-ceut silver pieces. I desire to repeat what I stated 
to him in a letter covering the bill, when he asked me to prepare it. 
The only difficulty, and the substantial difficulty, is that in 1865 or in 
1866 (the date is immaterial, however), Congress passed an act author- 
izing the coinage of five-ceut nickel coins, and made them redeemable in 
national currency. These words “national currency,’'' I take it, mean 
legal-tender notes ; and when such notes become redeemable in gold the 



nickel coins would be superior to the proposed five-cent silver coins. 
The fractional silver coins not being redeemable in national currency, 
the former would therefore be the superior coin for money purposes, and 
would be expelled from the circulation and be driven to the Treasury by 
the five-cent silver pieces. There would be a continual demand for the 
legal tender notes in exchange for these nickel coins. 

The effect of the free issue of five-cent silver coins would be to bring 
some five millions of dollars in nickel coins to be redeemed in legal-tend- 
ers, That is the objection I urge to the bill. 

The five cent nickel coins, if redeemed, melted down, and sold as 
metal, would not bring one fifth of that sum. 

The Chairman. Are not these coins ueeded to be kept in the circu- 
lation to make change ? 

Dr. Linderman. In the first place, the people do not like to have 
these small silver coins; besides, it would not be well to have two coins 
of the same denomination in circulation, one inferior to the other. 

Mr. Clark. There are but a small number of the five-cent silver 
coins % 

Dr. Linderman. That is true, but if you were to see the accumulated 
mass of these three-cent postal-currency pieces which come to the Treas- 
ury you would be surprised. The Treasurer told me he had taken in 
three thousand dollars in these coins in -one day, and that he wanted 
an appropriation in order to have them melted down. In connection 
with this matter, I desire to call the attention of the committee to 
another matter of importance. The government receives the difference 
between the bullion value and the nominal value of the fractional silver 
coinage, and by the time we get through the amount authorized to be 
issued this would amount to some four or five millions of dollars; and 
inasmuch as this result had been reached by reason of the legal tender 
quality given the issue, imparted to it by the government, and the bene- 
fits which the government has derived therefrom, it is eminently proper 
that the government should assume the expense of keeping them iu 
good condition from the effects of wear and tear. I think a law should 
be passed, that while the government takes the seigniorage they should 
also be required to take care of these coins, and have all coins, halves, 
quarters, and dimes recoined when so unduly reduced in weight by 
natural wear as to render them unfit for use, and upon the depositing 
of these abraded coins in the mints to be recoined when, say, the per- 
centage of loss from natural causes is about four per cent., receive them 
and issue new coins in their stead. 1 think the recognized rate of wear 
in the German Empire is four per cent, as to subsidiary coin. 

If the committee would like it, I will send a section of law which 
will cover this questiou for its consideration. 

The Chairman. Ido not doubt but that the committee will be pleased 
to consider it. 

Dr. Linderman. I regard this as an important matter. While we 
are engaged in considering the question of a new standard, this should 
be disposed of. Of course, in providing for the renovation of coin, it 
would seem to be entirely wrong to charge the holders with the inevita- 
ble loss from the wear and tear of that coinage, so long as the govern- 
ment enjoys the seigniorage. They get nothing excepting the weight. 
It is furnished by the government. It must become worn. In about 
fifteen years you will begin to see some of these pieces defaced and worn, 
and not in proper condition for circulation. It might then be difficult 
to get suitable legislation, when the amount required to renovate the 
worn coins would be considerable and require special appropriations ; 



whereas they could be kept in a good condition at an annual expense 
of a few thousand dollars. 

Mr. Kyan. There is no foreign coin here, I take it, except occasional 
pieces ? 

Dr. Linderman. No, sir. 

Mr. Ryan. Can you form an opinion as to the probable amount of 
silver that could be coined per annum under the provisions of the 
Bland silver bill with unlimited mint coinage? 

Dr. Linderman. I stated the maximum would be thirty-six millions. 

The Chairman (to Mr. Ryan). You were not here at the time Dr. 
Linderman had previously made this statement? 

Mr. Ryan. I assume the capacity for coinage to be unlimited, with a 
capacity to coin all that shall come in under the Bland bill. What, in 
your judgment would be the amount coming to the mints for coinage? 

Dr. Linderman. Well, that covers a pretty wide held for discussion. 
If what I understand by your question is correct, there is, I would say 
in reply, a small amount always in our vaults. What amount could be 
regularly controlled under present circumstances and the unsettled con- 
dition of silver — nobody can tell what the amount would be which 
would come to us from abroad. The countries using the ratio filteen 
and a half to one must adhere to it, for that is the ratio in which their 
contracts were made aud debts created, aud in which they are payable. 
I should say, at around guess, that there is from seven hundred and 
fifty thousand to one thousand millions of legal tender silver coin, 
as expressed in our money, in circulation in the countries using that 
ratio, and to change this would inevitably lead to great financial dis- 
turbance. I do not mean a change from gold to silver or from silver to 
gold as the standard, but to make any change which would affect the 
legal tender of the existing five-franc silver-pieces, the only silver coin 
representing silver in the ratio stated. 

I come to the next proposition, the supply from the different silver- 
producing countries. The Mexican production would be about twenty- 
five millions — probably twenty-three millions — of silver. A part of this 
goes to San Francisco aud the greater part to London. A part of the 
production of Mexico will of course be held in that country for money 

I thiuk that if the Bland bill, as passed by the House, was to become 
a law and the New Orleans mints were opened for coinage, a large 
amount w T ould come to that mint from Mexico for coinage. 

The coining rate or mint value of silver under the Bland bill would 
be fifty-nine pence per ounce British standard, or $1.16,^ per ounce 
nine-hundredths fine, our standard. 

The price of silver at present is about fifty-four pence. While this 
difference, or anything like it, shall continue, we would be apt to re- 
ceive all Mexico could spare — say fifteen millions of dollars per annum. 
We would be likely to get three millions from South American coun- 
tries, which would come here in the ordinary course of trade. Then, for 
the first two years, we would get at least twenty five millions a year 
from Europe. We could not make estimates which would be likely 
to hold good for a longer period than two years. 

This estimate gives only my general opinion and nothiug else. 
YVhen carefully weighing all the circumstances which would probably 
be connected with the movement of silver, I think that is about as much 
as we could rely upon. The Herman supply might be about thirty-five 
millions for two years. 



The Chairman. You think that thirty-five millions would be the total 
supply coming from Germany in two years. 

Dr. Linderman. Thirty-five millions each year. This, of course, is 
only an approximate estimate, and circumstances may materially alter it. 

Mr. Muldrow. What caused the demonetization of silver in Ger- 
many ? 

Dr. Linderman. It is a good deal like people living in communities. 
You will see that England, which is a commercial country, in 1816 
adopted gold as the sole standard, and, by reason of being a commercial 
and a creditor nation, she became the seat of the exchanges of the world. 
She naturally controlled the principal gold supplies, and was thereby 
better able to control these exchanges. 

I believe there were two causes leading to the demonetization of silver 
by Germany. I believe that Germany wanted to place herself on terms 
of equality, commercially, with the English nation, and next, that her 
bankers were of the opinion that her interests should be regulated by 
gold, as a more convenient currency, and that one of the measures to be 
adopted to secure that end was the demonetization of silver. At the 
same time it was important that the newly-formed German Empire 
should have one definite money system and coinage. 

For these reasons, principally, she has endeavored to demonetize silver, 
for the purpose of giving Germany only one kind of coin and a new money 

Mr. Vance. Did not the German Empire at one time attempt to se- 
cure the demonetization of gold ? 

Dr. Linderman. Without referring to some authorities I cannot ans- 
swer that question with any precision. M 3 7 opinion is that silver has 
been the money standard of the German peoples for many years before 
1870. The commercial and monetary union with Austria and the other 
German states was very much mixed. It would not be proper for me to 
speak on this subject without referring to authorities. 

Mr. Muldrow. I have been informed that such is the fact. 

Dr. Linderman. I will look it up for you, if I can find it. 

Mr. Ryan. I would like to ask your opinion what would be the ef- 
fect upon the price of silver bullion, as measured by the gold value of 
the coin, if silver be remonetized iu the United States ? 

Dr. Linderman. The tendency would be to strengthen the price as 
to the existing stock of silver bullion. If we were to open our mints to 
unlimited coinage, my view is that Germany would endeavor to place 
her silver upon our market, but not in sums likely to depreciate its value. 
The amount might reach forty millions, possibly, for the first year. 

The coining capacity of the mints would not be sufficient to coin the 
silver which would come to us, but this would be neutralized in some 
respects by the fact that as soon as the bullion would be melted and as- 
sayed the depositor would be entitled to receive a certificate for the 
net value of his deposit, and the receipt which is issued to him, or his 
order, when the deposit is made, would constitute one of the best col- 
laterals in the market. I think these receipts would be used iu the 
same manner in which warehouse receipts are used, aud would be a 
favorite collateral at the banks. They would, in fact, be in the nature 
of a representative of silver bullion actually on deposit in the mints, 
and would, to some extent, be used as money. 

The act of March 3, 1863, requires the Secretary of the Treasury to 
receive on deposit gold coin and bullion in the Treasury, aud to issue 
certificates therefor. While that meant, in the eyes of those who sub- 
mitted and passed the law, only gold coin and gold bullion, under the 



act to restore silver to an equality with gold coin I think the Secretary 
would find it very difficult to resist the issuance of coin -certificates for 
silver deposited iu like manner. This is merely an opinion of my own, 
and I give it only because of the desire of the committee to have all the 
facts bearing on this question before it. 

It would open a pretty wide market for silver. It would not restore 
the former ratio unless by a rise or increase iu the value of silver or a 
fall in the value of gold, or both. I think the silver standard would 
prevail here, and that it, in its practical results, would be the establish- 
ment of a silver standard, and not a double standard or concurrent 
circulation of legal-tender gold and silver coins. 

Then the next question I wish you gentlemen to consider is, should 
silver advance in value after the establishment of such a coinage to the 
rate which it held for many years prior to and up to 1870, and which 
corresponds to the ratio of fifteen and one-half to one, and the States 
of the Latin Monetary Union return to a silver coinage and open their 
mints, the result would be to make silver about three per cent, higher 
than it would be in our coinage, iu which case our silver dollars would 
of course be exported. 

Remonetization of silver is attended with great difficulties aud uncer- 
tainties for the next two or three years. There are too many countries 
acting separately upon this subject to leave reasonable hope for an 
early solution of the question, or the restoration of the relative values 
of the two precious metals which existed before the change in the Ger- 
man money system, which is a matter earnestly to be hoped for, and 
well worthy the careful consideration of an international congress. 

Mr. Vance. The coinage of silver dollars would have the effect to 
appreciate silver, would it not? 

Dr. Linderman. I think so. 

Mr. Muldrow. Would it depreciate the value of gold H 

Dr. Linderman. The argument of many gentlemen is that there will 
be a great scramble for gold by the European states. I do not see 
why a scramble for gold for coinage should result, when only four or 
five countries of the gold standard, all of which are well supplied with 
coin, are on a specie basis, and only one not on a specie basis is prepar- 
ing to resume specie payments, viz, the United States, which has already 
a considerable accumulation for that purpose. 

The value of silver and gold to day, relatively, is as one to seventeen 
and a quarter. If one ounce of pure gold will command seventeen and 
a quarter ounces of pure silver abroad, and only sixteen here, as would 
be the case if coined into silver dollars of four hundred and twelve and 
one-half grains, gold will go abroad and silver come to us. 

As long as the price of silver in the principal markets of the world 
shall remain below the coining-rate in the United States, silver must 
come here, and if we have nothing else to give iu return for it, gold must 
be exported in payment. 

As to the probability of the price advancing to fifty-nine pence, which 
would correspond to the coining-rate in silver dollars, and make the 
gold dollar and the silver dollar equivalents, it would, to a great extent, 
be a matter of conjecture only. 

It will probably take nearly two years for the German stock to be 
consumed, which, with the uncertain attitude of France aud her mone- 
tary allies, complicates the question very greatly. 

Then, the next thing to be considered is the amount of silver which 
India and China are likely to take within two or three years. They 
have taken the largest amounts in the last twenty-two months they 



have ever taken in a corresponding period of time — over one hundred 
millions. My opinion is, they will take much less during the next few 
years, possibly not more than thirty millions. The Monetary Union 
between France, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland will expire January 
1, 1880. Then they will be at liberty to do what they please, whereas 
now they are not at liberty to change the existing double standard. In 
the mean time, they protect themselves against an influx of silver from 
Germany and other sources by keeping their mints closed to its coinage. 

Mr. Kyan. Since 1873, has not gold bullion appreciated, and what is 
the cause of it H 

Dr. Linderman. As to the appreciation of gold and depreciation of 
silver, it would be very difficult for any man to determine exactly how 
much the one had appreciated or the other depreciated. The only way 
would be to take the general range of prices, say in 1860, in different 
countries, and compare the same with the prices at the present time. 

I have not been able to find any authoritative data on which to make 
a comparison. 

The majority report of the United States Monetary Commission en- 
deavored to procure this information, but if they have it, it is not con- 
tained in the printed report. It may, however, come to us in the testi- 
mony and papers yet to be printed. 

The views of the Monetary Commission in respect to a comparison of 
the gold appear to be based on a comparison of prices in 1873 with those 
of 1877. With due respect to the high authority of the commission, I 
consider a period of four years too short on which to base a comparison. 

Mr. Vance. You stated that probably forty millions might come here 
from Germauv. 

Dr. Linderman. As long as the price of silver in London shall remain 
below the coining-rate in the United States, New York will be a better 
market for silver than London, and it will for sometime, no doubt, come 
to us freely; anything like the precise amount cannot of course be esti- 
mated, but it is safe to say it will be quite large. 

The Chairman. What is your opinion about the propriety of the gov- 
ernment buying bullion % 

Dr. Linderman. As long as the price of silver is materially below the 
coining-rate of silver dollars there will of course be a seigniorage or gain, 
and which should undoubtedly be realized by the government as repre- 
senting the people. There would be no seigniorage after silver should 
rise to fifty-nine pence, and then the government might coin with pro- 
priety for private parties at will. 

Until prices generally shall adjust themselves to the new standard, 
the government as representing the people ought to realize the differ- 
ence between the bullion and legal-tender value, which would no 
doubt be sufficient to defray the cost of coinage and of distributing the 
new silver dollar to the different parts of the country. Otherwise there 
would be a difficulty as to this coin finding its way into circulation, as 
private parties would not be willing to pay the expense of transporta- 
tion to points at considerable distance from the mints. 

Mr. Dwight. How much available silver have you on hand for the 
coinage of these dollars ? 

Dr. Linderman. Not more than a million or two. 

Mr. Kyan. The trade-dollars are four hundred and twenty grains, 
are they not % 

Dr. Linderman. Yes, sir; four hundred and twenty grains, instead 
of four hundred and twelve and a half grains, the weight of the old 
dollar. They are not a legal tender for any sum. 



Should we adopt the silver coinage, we would enter the field with the 
great consumers of silver, India and China, and this would tend to estab- 
lish a higher rate for silver, especially if the demand from those coun- 
tries continues large. If we enter into this competition, the first result 
will be to bring all the bullion east of the Rocky Mountains to the Phila- 
delphia mint for coinage. 

Bullion can be put into China and sent to the Indies from San Fran- 
cisco easier than from there by the way of London, and when a large 
demand exists, especially from China, the price in San Francisco will 
run up to the London rate and sometimes two per cent, above. 

There are a good many elements in this question that no certain 
opiuion can be given on, the ultimate effect of which cannot be conjec- 
tured with any degree of certainty. 

Therefore I would say that it would be unsafe for this country to 
attempt to fix, at the present time, a permanent policy with regard to the 
coinage and use of silver as an unlimited legal tender. If silver is to 
be restored to the value it held relatively to gold in 1870, it must be with 
the aid of the so-called Latin States. And, as they cannot well depart 
from the ratio of fifteen and one-half to one, we must look ultimately 
for that ratio to prevail everywhere in the countries undertaking to use 
concurrently gold and silver legal-tender coins. As I have before stated 
the ratio of sixteen to one in the United States cannot be maintained 
concurrently with, the unrestricted coiuage of silver by the mints of 
the Latin States. 

While I have pronounced views as to the standard which under exist- 
ing circumstances should prevail in the United States, I try to keep my 
mind clear of prejudice, and would state that if in its wisdom the law- 
making power should decide to make silver an unlimited legal-tender, 
equally with gold, it should consider well whether the average price of 
silver from 1870 to 1878, which I make about fifty-seven and one-fourth 
(574) pence, would not be the best basis on which to establish a legal- 
tender silver dollar, with the understanding and expectation that sooner 
or later its weight would be reduced to an extent sufficient to bring the 
ratio in this country the same as in France. 

France, the principal country of the double standard, will be compelled, 
from the nature of the circumstances by which she is surrounded, to 
determine her policy within a year. Before that determination is reached 
the question should be considered by an international congress, in which 
we should join. 

The gold or bullion value of a dollar based on fifty-seven and one- 
fourth pence would be something over ninety-seven cents, and, if the 
cost of coinage and of distribution be added, it would as a legal tender 
be more likely to maintain a concurrent circulation with gold and legal- 
tender notes than upon any other basis, and no injury would be inflicted 
either on public or private interests from all the coins that could be issued 
in one year — say forty millions. 

The following letters were then read : 

Mint of the Unitei> States at Philadelphia, 

Assay Department, January 16, 1878. 

Sik: In accordance with the order from the Director, the alloy called “goloid ” has 
been thoroughly tested here, both before and after coinage. I have the following state- 
ment to make as to its properties : 

First, let me say, that it does not come within my province to speak of certain points 
which are claimed as advantages, such as: 1. That this mixture of gold and silver 
would destroy the rivalry between the two metals, and compel them both to be used 
in currency; 2. The size of the dollar would be much reduced, as compared with the 
silver dollar ; 3. It would not be melted down to be used in manufactures. There is 
obviously much force in these points, and, of course, they will receive due consideration. 



I now take up the matter technically. 1. Although a ternary compound — gold, 
silver, and copper — it mixes as well iu melting as the standard binary alloy of gold and 
silver. We are constantly getting these triple alloys; only yesterday I reported a de- 
posit which contained those three metals in nearly the same proportions. 

2. The goloid is as ductile as standard silver, and would work as well iu mintage. 

3. Its specific gravity is a little above that of staudard silver, being 10.28 in the 
ingot, and 10.50 after striking in a screw-press, which is the highest compression. 
Standard silver in the ingot shows 10.24, and when struck as above 10.33. The differ- 
ence is due to the gold present, and would afford a test of genuineness in the hands 
of an experienced operator, with first-class balance. 

4. Its color is precisely that of standard silver. So would it be if the gold were ten 
times as much. It is only as we reach nearly equal proportions that the yellowish tint 

5. Its sonority or ring is nearly the same as that of standard silver. The sound is 
more prolonged. But this very delicate test would be of no use to ordinary examiners. 

6. It is acted upon by the usual acid solvents precisely as staudard silver is ; the goloid 
of course leaving a residium of gold in powder. Neither mixture is touched by muriatic 
or hydrochloric acid, cold or hot. 

7. Nothing can be said in advance about the wear or abrasion. There is no reason 
to expect any difference. 

8. The danger of imitations, leaving the gold entirely out, would, of course, be very 
great. Assuming well-made false dies, there would be no test at all in the hands of 
ordinary dealers. Our own short test by acid mixtures entirely fails. Nothing would 
do but trying the specific gravity, which is slow work, and apt to be incorrectly done. 

These are all the points which come within my range as an assayer. Judged by 
those properties, the goloid coin has no advantages. Ou the contrary, it would be held 
by scientific men everywhere as a retrograde movement. The study has been all 
along to get gold and silver as completely separated as possible. They are hardly in a 
merchantable shape while intermixed. For that x-eason, they would be parted as soon 
as exported, and they would be worth less by so much as the cost of parting, say 1^ 
cents per dollar. Within the mint, the danger of getting the two metals, whether 
ingots or clippings, mixed up would require incessant watch. If it is adopted, 
standard silver, even for dimes, had better be banished. If goloid means like gold, 
it is certainly a misuomer, being not at all like it in appearance or substance. It might 
better be called silveroid (or argyroid scientifically), because it looks and behaves like 
silver, and its largest componeut is silver. The coins formerly made in Tripoli and in 
Japan, of gold, silver, and copper, had the gold on the outside, and not hidden in the 
mass. A thick gilding would hold its own for a long time. In conclusion, I beg to 
correct an error which is stamped on the goloid specimen coin, that of calling it “ nine- 
tenths (.9) tine.” Standard gold is nine-tenths fine, and so is staudard silver, but when 
the two are put together the term loses its meaning. It is like making an addition 
of six oranges and three apples; they cannot be made into one sum. 

Very respectfully, 


* Assayer. 

I inclose a slip of goloid ou which a gum-elastic baud was laid for one day. 

Hon. James Pollock, 

Superintendent, cfc., <j’-c. 

United States Mint, Melters and Refiners’ Department, 

Philadelphia, Penn., January 14, 1878. 

Sir: I have examined the question raised by the Director of the Mint in his letter, 
to you of the 12th instant, relative to the value of the alloy proposed for the so-called 
goloid dollar, and herewith submit, as requested, my opinion iu relation to it. As 1 
understand it, the alloy is to bo constituted in the following ratio : 

In thousandths. 

Silver 864 

Gold. 36 

Copper 100 

In grains in the 


25 ® 

1000 258 

The copper is put into the alloy to harden it, as in our usual standard gold and silver, 
and we may leave it wholly out of view. 

We have, therefore, only to consider the alloy of the two metals, 864 thousandths of 
silver and 36 of gold, which, reduced to the simplest ratio, is as 24 silver to 1 gold (by 



weight), or expressed iu thousandths, without the alloying copper, is 960 thousandths 
silver to 40 thousandths gold. The dore silver, of which we refined over a half-mill- 
ion of ounces in 1876, had the composition of 946-932 thousandths of silver to about 
42-54 thousandths of gold, with a balance of 10-15 thousandths of impurity, usually 
embrittling metals. Since the goloid alloy manifestly approximates to the ratio iu the 
dore or Comstock bullion, can the latter be used for it ? 

1. The Comstock bullion could not be all employed directly to make goloid, because 
scarcely a bar of the metal would exhibit precisely the goloid ratio of 960 thousandths 
to 40 thousandths between its silver and gold, and yet the precision of modern coinage 
demands that we should not vary more than -nnnr (*001), that is, that the ratio might 
be from 961 thousandths silver to 39 thousandths gold to 959 thousandths silver to 41 
thousandths gold. 

In our actual practice, we allow in gold coin, as an extreme limit, only of 
(.0003) above or below the legal standard, on account of the great value of gold, and 
because of the importance of having as uniform a value as possible in that which is 
quoted as the most general and most fixed standard for comparison of values. For the 
same reasons, although in a less degree, the variation in goloid should not be more than 
-rftVir (-001) from the legal standard of in gold (or 36 thousandths in the goloid 
coin, with its alloying copper). 

Since this is not to be found naturally in the Comstock bullion, the latter must be 
brought to the exact ratio by the additiou of pure silver or pure gold, which has been 
refined by acid, or by commingling Comstock alloys of varying proportions and in vary- 
ing quantities, until the precise legal proportion is attained. 

The latter will be found iu practice to be so rarely attainable that the former 
method of adding fine metal would be adopted exclusively. 

The Comstock bullion, then, in its natural ratio between silver and gold, must be sup- 
plemented by the addition of flue silver or gold refined by acid, so that there is no 
great advantage in the natural alloy in respect of the proportion between gold and 

2. Silver-mines containing gold do not always exhibit the same ratio between two 
metals in every part of their workings, and, moreover, are liable to great fluctua- 
sion at times. The metals are liable to change their ratios. Hence, there can be no 
certainty that in the Comstock mines the goloid ratio, or an approach to it, will be 
maintained for one, two, or more years, but it may change to such an extent that the 
Comstock bullion may cease to be of any special value for the goloid alloy. The 
question, then, might be simplihed thus : Is there any peculiar advantage in the 
goloid ratio of 24 silver to 1 gold, independent of the present Comstock bullion? 
Other silver-mines containing gold exhibit; an infinite number of ratios between their 
gold and silver, and are in like manner subject to alterations in those ratios in differ- 
ent parts of the mines and at different periods of time. Therefore, unless the goloid 
proportion of 24 silver to 1 gold has some peculiarly advantageous properties in it, the 
goloid dollar might perchance benefit the Comstock lode in its present condition, but 
would not prove beneficial to the rest of the world. 

3. Auriferous silver-mines usually contain more or less of the embrittling elements, 
lead, bismuth, antimony, arsenic, &c., and although smelters are more or less success- 
ful in removing these dangerous companions, yet there are frequently sufficient traces 
of them left from the smelting operations to make the metal useless for coinage without 
repeated fluxings, in which there is always a risk of loss. We witnessed this effect in 
dord silver. Hence, it would be sometimes more effective, and at least equally econom- 
ical, to refine auriferous silver by acid-parting than by mere fluxing. If it be neces- 
sary to resort to acid-parting, then there is no advantage whatever in the goloid pro- 
portion of gold and silver, unless it can be shown that it has inherent properties superior 
to that of our standard silver coin. 

4. As mines change in different parts of their workings, and at different times, the 
relative proportions of their silver and gold, iu like manner may change the relative 
quantities of their bases or embrittling ingredients. The ratios and nature of these 
last may change so unfavorably in the Comstock and other lodes as to make it more 
advantageous to refine the precious metals wholly by acid, which would, of course , 
render the goloid proportion useless except it possess inherent value. 

We may then conclude that, because we cannot employ the pure gold and silver pro- 
portion as it now exists in the Comstock bullion for making goloid without the use of 
more or less gold or silver parted by acid, because this ratio may Vary greatly in the 
Comstock lode iu future, and varies indefinitely in other auriferous silver-mines, more 
certainly demanding largely or wholly parting by acid, because the dominance of em- 
brittling metals now or in future iu the Comstock and other mines may render parting 
b 3 r acid partly or wholly necessary ; therefore, there is no advantage in having natural 
mixtures of gold and silver approximating at the present or at any time to the goloid 
proportion, unless there be some useful property inherent in that proportion, and in 
that alone. 

5. Wuat are the advantages of the goloid propoition of 24 silver to 1 gold? There 



is no advantage in it chat I am aware of, except in its greater value, as compared with 
the same bulk of coiu of standard silver ; that while the trade-dollar weighs 420 grains, 
the goloid dollar shall weigh 258 grains, or 38f per cent, less, that $10 in trade-dollars 
weigh nearly! pound, $10 goloid would weigh nearly ! pound. 

The substitution of 36 thousandths soft gold for the like amount of soft silver 
in the trade-dollar changes it into goloid without affecting any of its external proper- 
ties, except its specific gravity. In its hardness, toughness, fusibility, malleability, 
color, and ring, there is no difference; and in its density the difference is so small that 
a very nice balance, with precision and care in weighing, will be requisite to ascertain 
whether a coin be goloid or standard silver. 

I think that no ordinary machine could be contrived by which people in the usnal 
walks of life could distinguish between goloid and our standard silver. The device on 
the coiu alone could be employed to distinguish between them while the devices were 
clearly visible and not much worn. 

6. The goloid coiu might readily be imitated in similar alloys* varying only in the 
ratios between gold and silver. Thus one grain of silver might be substituted for one 
grain of gold, making the goloid dollar worth only 96 cents or 96! cents, and nothing 
short of a fine assay could ascertain the fact. 

Five grains of gold might be omitted from the goloid dollar and 5 grains of silver 
added, so that the total weight of 258 grains would be the same; the color, ring, and 
other external properties would be the same ; in all probability the specific gravity 
would be 10.25 or 10.26 while that of unaltered goloid is 10.28 and of standard silver 
10.24, a difference inappreciable except to the finest balance and manipulation ; and 
yet such a goloid dollar would be worth only about 81! cents. Wonld not such a mar- 
gin of profit lead to dangerous counterfeiting, most dangerous because difficult and 
almost incapable of detection ? 

7. Under the mo*t favorable view possible of making goloid from natural combina- 
tions without parting, it might, be issued at the combined value of its gold and silver, 
without including the cost of parting, but as it would bear only international and 
commercial value abroad, it must be sold subject to a deduction for refining, which 
would necessarily be borne by the United States holders. When the United States de- 
mand for such coin is satisfied, which could be done in a short time, the vast possible 
overplus, if made iuto coin, would so overstock the market that the goloid coin would 
sink in value to the commercial level of its gold and silver, including parting charges. 
Then the apparent advantage of the goloid composition, as being the direct product of 
some of our western mines at the least expense, would altogether disappear. 

8. I merely allude to the fact that a patent has been granted for the goloid alloy, 
but as far as my knowledge of the principles underlying patent-rights and of the proper- 
ties of the goloid alloy allows me, I venture to express the opinion that no court would 
sustain the patent against a multitude of imitations of the alloy, consisting of the 
same metals in slightly varying proportions. 

Respectfully yours, 


Mel ter and Refiner. 

Hon. James Pollock, 


Mint of the United States at Philadelphia, 

January 14, 1878. 

Sir : Learning through you that the Director desired the views of the several officers 
in this institution upon the proposed goloid coinage, I have the honor, at your request, 
to state that I do not think such a coinage at all desirable. 

There is no doubt, judging from the experimental pieces receutly struck, that an 
alloy composed of 36 parts of gold, 864 parts of silver, and 100 parts of copper, is capa- 
ble of easy manipulation. It works well, and readily receives the impressions made 
upon it. 

It is objectionable, however, for a number of reasons: In the first place, there is no 
quick way of discerning the metal from our standard silver. Its color is not sufficiently 
changed to readily detect it. The evils arising from this one fact are many and great. 
The ease with which it could bo counterfeited, by striking in standard silver, is a seri- 
ous defect. Two hundred and fifty-e<ght (258) grains of standard silver is worth, in our 
subsidiary coin, sixty-seven (67) cents. A profit of thirty-three (33) cents on each 
piece would otter a great temptation to evil-doers. The weight, would correspond with 
the goloid dollar; the jingle and color the same, and it would require an assay to de- 
termine the genuine from the counterfeit. A melter and refiner disposed to be evil 
could readily palm off on the coiner standard silver ingots for goloid ; or this could be 
done through mistake, and the serious result of the mint issuing false coin wonld arise, 
or a wicked coiner could readily lind opportunity to issue standard silver for goloid 



and use the latter to cover up peculations in his gold account. I see many evils in the 
practical working of a composition of the kind proposed, particularly in an institution 
where standard silver is so largely worked. It opens the door very widely to tempta- 
tion aud fraud. The great objection, that of affecting the credit of money with other 
countries, I leave for able minds to grapple. I might add that if the mint is to lose 
its revenue derived in the parting of gold and silver, because there can he silver ore 
mined, already alloyed with gold in the proportions required for goloid, then I see no 
reason why the owners of mines, who have ore of a different value, should not he ac- 
commodated with a dollar to suit their productions. 

In conclusion, I wish to say that I have no desire to dictate to the authorities what 
the coinage of the country should be. I believe that the office of coiner is to make the 
coin provided for by the laws, not to decide upon its nature. 

‘ Very respectfully, your obedient servant, • 

E. C. BOSBYSHELL, Coiner. 

Hon. James Pollock, 


Mint of the United States at Philadelphia, 

January 16, 1878. 

Sir: In compliance with your request of the 12th instant, received on the 14th, I 
herewith inclose official reports from the operative officers of this mint, with regard to 
the proposed “goloid” coinage. 

I have myself never been able to see that any advantage whatever could be derived 
from “goloid” coinage, while the objections seemed to me to be numerous and insur- 
mountable. Many of these objections are presented in detail in the special reports 
herewith forwarded, aud in which I fully and eutirely concur. Aside from all other 
objections the practical test furnished by a comparison of the pattern “goloid” dollar 
herewith inclosed struck by the coiner in standard silver, with the piece struck in 
the “ goloid” alloy, in your possession, and the impossibility of distinguishing between 
them except by some special ear-mark, must be absolutely conclusive of the question. 
I shall add in justice to the melter and refiner that his report is the first draught pre- 
pared amidst other pressing duties, which will account for the interlineations. I in- 
close for payment the coiner’s bill, 70 cents, for the pattern piece in standard silver 
herewith inclosed. 

Very respectfully, 


Superintendent . 

Hon. H. R. Linderman, 

Director of the Mint. 

Mint of the United States at Philadelphia, 

January 16, 1878. 

The Director of the Mint to the coiner, Dr. 

To one (1) standard silver goloid dollar 
Received payment. 




Mint of the United States at Philadelphia, 

January 15, 1878. 

Sir: I have the honor to transmit herewith a goloid pattern dollar struck in stand- 
ard silver. I have had this struck in order to enable you and the Director to compare 
it with the pieces struck in goloid. A comparison will convince you, as it has me, of 
the utter impossibility of detecting goloid dollars from standard silver pieces. An 
examination of the letter “o” in the word “of,” on the reverse of the silver piece 
inclosed will enable you to detect this piece from those struck in goloid, as in the 
silver piece it is defectively struck. 

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 


Hon James Pollock, 


H. Mis. 24 2 



Mint of United States, 

Philadelphia, 1 Ith, 1878. 

Sir: In obedience to your request, I submit my opinion of the goloid dollar. I fail 
to see any advantages it presents in any of our processes of manufacture over silver, 
■while it plainly offers additional temptation and facilities in counterfeiting, as the 
whole amount of gold could be omitted, and the effect of color (if any) made up by 
the substitution of oreide, or any of the close imitations of gold well known to the 
manufacturers of cheap jewelry, while the difference in weight could be compensated 
for by an imperceptible increase in thickness. I think also (but on this point you are 
better informed than myself) that it would be utterly rejected abroad, as the cost of 
separation would so lessen its value that it never could be used in the arts or manu- 
factures, which, in ordinary coinage, consumes a very large amount by remelting for 
those purposes. In fact, I think that all of the objections that were so successfully 
urged against the platinum coins of Russia as to compel the withdrawal of them, 
would apply with equal force to this compound. 

Very respectfully, yours, 

r Engraver. 

Washington, D. 0., January 25, 1S78. 


Mr. Maish (to Mr. Elliott). I will ask you wliy this expression is 
used in your bill (H. E. No. 907), “shall weigh, for each dollar, oue and 
two-thirds grams”? 

Mr. Elliott. One and two-thirds grams would be equal to five-thirds 
of a gram. It is difficult to express it otherwise with exact accuracy. 

The Chairman. Why do you put it in this form ? 

Mr. Maish. Why at this weight ? 

The Chairman. Why do you use a vulgar fraction instead of a deci- 
mal ? Why not put it in a decimal form ? 

Mr Elliott. If you put it in the form of a decimal it would be an 
interminable one, but a simple one, one with which we are all well 
acquainted. It is a kind known as a simple repeteud. The common 
fraction two-thirds expresses the whole of the fraction. The interrupted 
decimal form would leave an interminable remainder. 

Mr. Maish. Why, then, give it thi$ weight ? Is it not possible to give 
it another weight, expressed in decimal figures, which would not make 
an interminable decimal expression? 

Mr. Elliott. It is desirable that standard coins of different countries 
should have definite and simple relationship, both as to the weight of 
the entire coin and as to the weight of pure metal contained therein, 
with the destined international unit of weight, the metric gram ; and 
if the standard coins of different values do each possess such simple 
relationship to the gram, they must of necessity possess as to weight 
and value simple relationship with each other, and computations will be 
greatly facilitated. If for the pure metal in the standard coins there 
should be adopted weights that do not possess simplicity of relationship 
with some common unit of weight, computation will of necessity, to a 
corresponding extent, become complicated and difficult. I know of no 
other weight to be given to the dollar, near its present weight, that has 
so simple a relation to the metric weight, both as regards the entire 
weight and the weight of the pure gold contained therein, as this. 

You have the weight of a gram and a half grain of pure metal, and of 
one and two-thirds grams as the weight of the coin. I know of no 
weight that bears so simple a relationship to the gram or that would so 
greatly facilitate computation. The present gold dollar of the United 



States weighs 1.G71S 4 - grams, and contains of pure metal 1.50463 -f- 
grams. The proposed metric dollar weighs lj or 1.0666 grams, and con- 
tains of pure metal l.t> grams. 

The Chairman. What baser metal do you use in your alloy ? 

Mr. Elliott. Copper. 

Mr. Maish. Can you not increase the weight, say, to one and eight- 
tenths grams, thus having a decimal form of expression and still pre- 
serving the relationship with the proposed international system of 
coinage I 

Mr. Elliott. You cau add more alloy and have such weight, but 
you have introduced an inharmonious element. It is generally con- 
ceded by nations, at the present time, that the simplest ratio of alloy to 
the pure metal is as one to ten. All our own coins of gold and silver, 
since the year 1837, have had that rate of fineness. All the coin's that 
have lately been established by nations adopting the metrical system 
and improving their systems of coinage have adopted that ratio. Great 
Britaiu has eleven-twelfths fineness as her standard; one-twelfth copper 
and silver and eleven-twelfths pure metal — gold. But Great Britain is 
not unwilling to make a change and adopt the nine-tenths standard 
when there shall be sufficient reasons therefor, arising from her commer- 
cial relations with nations using the nine-tenths standard. The almost 
universally-accepted proportion of alloy is one in ten ; nine parts of pure 
metal to one of silver or copper. To change this proportion would in- 
troduce an inharmonious element in respect to fineness. My impression 
is that we ought not to change this ratio. My impression is that the 
existing ratio of one-tenth of alloy to nine-tenths of pure metal for gold 
and silver should not be changed. 

The Chairman. I suppose that one gram and six hundred and sixty- 
six one-thousandths ( 1.666 grams) would approximate just as near. 

Mr. Elliott. You do not get the weight exact, because there is a 
small lemainder not expressed. 

The Chairman. Is it not as easy to get sixty-six one-hundredths of 
any quantity as it is to get two-thirds; and would not it be as easy to 
say sixty-six one-hundredths of a gram as that it should be one and 
two-thirds grams, and as easy to make computations from that stand- 

Mr. Elliott. The gram with these decimals (.666) would differ but an 
insignificant amount from the gram and two-thirds of a gram. 

Mr. Maish. You state the difference expressed by the fraction ; practi- 
cally you cannot get one-third or two thirds of anything. 

Mr. Elliott. One gram and six hundred and sixty-six one thou- 
sandths would differ but by an insiguittcant amount from one gram and 
two-thirds of a gram. 

The Chairman. For practical purposes would it make any difference? 

Mr. Elliott. There is 110 difficulty in making a coin that shall ap- 
proximate any amount you want. The mint can do anything you wish 
it to do. The main question is what will facilitate computation. What 
will be the most easy method of securing a general harmony, with a 
view of bringing our coinage into relationship with the metric standard 
of weight and with the coinage of the nations with which we have com- 
mercial relations. 

The Chairman. Cannot that be obtained as well with the expression 
one and sixty -six one-hundredths as it could be with the expression 
one and two thirds ? 

Mr. Elliott. If you require a school-boy to solve the problem with 



one instead of the other he would soon find the difference. With the 
decimal he would have difficulty ; with the common fraction two-thirds 
he would find none. Two-thirds is ten-sixths. He will multiply by ten 
and divide by six, or divide by ten and multiply by six, instead of multi- 
plying or dividing by 1.0GG The different operations would not pro- 
duce a result appreciably different, it would be entirely within the 
limits of “tolerance” or allowances. But in selecting a standard for 
computation, we should avoid complexity as far as possible. You have 
a mass of gold of nine-tenths fineness — the ordinary fineness — you 
know its weight in grams. In order to determine its value in dol- 
lars — six-tenths of the weight is the value in dollars, six-tenths exactly, 
under the system as it now rests in the bill — if you were to say that 
six-tenths of the number of grams was the value in dollars, that is 
exact, but not so with the other formula if, instead, you multiply by .6GG, 
and, besides, that is awkward. The two results, however, would not be 
appreciably different. The better plan would be to adopt the more 
practical method. The decimal expression suggested by the chairman 
is exact, if a dot be placed below each of the last two figures to denote 
that the fraction was a “simple repeteud,” so called, and that the fig- 
ures so dotted were to be continued indefinitely j thus, 1.666 denote 

1.GG6, and so on indefinitely. 

Mr. Maish. Can you not obviate the use of the expression two-thirds 
and yet preserve the present rate of fineness — nine tenths ? If so, how ? 

Mr. Elliott. By omitting the mention of the weight of the coin. 

Mr. Maish. Then you would not state the fineness at all ? 

Mr. Elliott. Yes; nine-tenths pure gold and the remainder oue-tenth 
alloy, without regard to the weight of the coin. 

Mr. Maish. You would not express its weight on the coin 1 ? 

Mr. Elliott. No, sir ; only its value and fineness. The relative pro- 
portions of gold and alloy would be universally known ; and if not, the 
expression nine-tenths fine would show that the weight of the coin 
was one-ninth greater than the weight of the pure gold. Instead of “ If 
grams, T 9 ^ fine,” stamped on the coin, the inscription may be “1.G6 grams, 

fine”; the fraction is a simple repetend, the figures to be continued 

Mr. Maish. You could express the diameter? 

Mr. Elliott. You can do it. Yet with the weight of the gold alone 
and the rate of fineness you have defined the weight of the coin. No 
other definition is necessary. 

Mr. Maish. I do not see that you have expressed the weight of the 

Mr. Elliott. No, but we have the weight of the pure metal. We 
could say, however, that the kilogram shall be coined into six hundred 
dollars of nine-tenths fineness. The present standard of 508 leaves an 
interminable fraction. You can say instead of two-thirds — you can put 
the proportion of the alloy to the entire weight of the metal as one to 
ten ; you can omit, if you please, this fraction, and say that it shall be 
of such a weight and fineness that from a kilogram of gold of niue- 
tenths fineness there may be coined six hundred dollars. 

Mr. Maish. Will you make out the formula showing how that is pos- 

Mr. Elliott. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Muldrow. You leave out the weight of the dollar altogether. 

Mr. Elliott. We, can get at the matter so as to furnish the formula 
without the use of this fraction. 


2 L 

The Chairman. It seems to me that the eml might be obtained by 
saying that it should weigh one gram and one-halt' of a gram of pure 

Mr. Elliott. Yes; if united with the statement that the coin is of 
nine-tenths fineness. 

Mr. Muldkow. The alloy might be lighter. 

The Chairman. And its weight be altered ? 

Mr. Elliott. It should contain, by weight, one part of alloy to nine 
parts of pure metal. The definition of the weight of the pure metal would 
thus furnish the weight of the dollar. 

Mr. Muldrow. If you have one and one-half grains in the piece and 
one-tenth alloy, would not the two be in proportion ? That does away 
with the fraction one and two-thirds grains. 

Mr. Elliott. Certainly. Every one will know that the entire weight 
will be one and two-thirds. 

Mr. Muldrow. You say that under that form there would be noth- 
ing on the coin not compatible with the metrical system ? 

Mr. Elliott. The term nine comes in in order to show the quantity 
of pure metal. 

Mr. Muldrow. Do not you think, Mr. Chairman, this form would be 
more desirable? 

The Chairman. I think so. 

Mr. Muldrow. We want to reconcile this coin with the metrical sys- 
tem, to express it decimally. Suppose you have a decimal expression 
for the one-half ? 

Mr. Elliott. You cau have that. It would be one and five tenths 
grams, but in using the other in a decimal form of expression you 
would have a fraction of a much worse kind than a simple repetend. 

The Chairman. How would this do: “one and one half grams pure 
gold, one-tenth alloy, nine-tenths fineness’ 7 ? You have the weight and 
preserve the decimal form of expression. “The dollar shall consist of 
one and five-tenths grams of pure metal and one-tenth alloy.” 

Mr. Elliott. Y r es; that is one form. “The metal shall consist of nine 
parts of pure gold to one part of alloy ; and the dollar shall contain one 
gram and one-half of a gram of pure gold.” This would expressit; or“ the 
dollar shall contain of pure gold one and cne-half grams, and the propor- 
tion of the alloy to the entire weight shall be as one to ten.” That obvi- 
ates the use of the expression one and two thirds. If you strike out in 
your bill the words “ shall weigh one and two-thirds grams,” and sub- 
stitute the words suggested, so that it shall read, “the gold hereafter 
coined by the United States shall contain for each dollar of denomina- 
tional value one and oue-half grams of pure gold strike out “and shall 
weigh for each dollar one and two thirds grams,” and substitute “ the pro- 
portion of alloy to the entire weight shall be as one to ten,” instead of 
“ being thus kept as ten to one.” 

Mr. Meldrow. liuu your pencil through the bill and make it conform 
to your idea. 

Mr. Elliott. I will give the rate of pure gold that the coin shall 
contain, one and one-half grams pure gold, and that the proportion of 
alloy to the entire weight shall be as one to ten. The next question is, 
“ What should be stamped on the coin ?” In the definition we have an 
interminable decimal. Were we to stamp the exact weight of this coin 
on it it would be one and two-thirds. The weight of pure gold in the 
twenty-dollar coin, the ten-dollar coin, the five-dollar coin, and the tliree- 
dollar coin, all cau be expressed decimally. The three-dollar coin has 
hitherto been issued in small amounts, but will be issued because it is 



suitable and of easy comparison with the ten-gram. The weight of the 
three-dollar piece is live grams, and its weight expressed decimally is un- 
objectionable. You can stamp upon the twenty-dollar coin thirty grams 
pure gold, or thirty-three and one third grams for the weight of the en- 
tire coin. This is the principal gold coin we shall circulate. It is the 
principal gold coin now issued, and will probably continue to be the 
principal one, unless the three-dollar coin may partially supplant it, 
being adapted to a coin which Europe may possibly adopt — the deca- 
gram of gold, nine-tenths fine. 

The Chairman. How about silver? 

Mr. Elliott. There will be no need of the fraction in the silver in 
our present coinage — subsidiary coin — twenty-five grams to the dollar. 

The Chairman. Make it standard silver, because we are going to 
pass the silver bill. 

Mr. Elliott. The simplest way in regard to silver 

The Chairman. Say four hundred and twelve and one-half grains; 
give us that in grams. 

Mr. Elliott. 26.729567 grams weight, of which 24.056610 grams is 
pure silver. The word tergram for gold coinage will relieve the ques- 
tion as to the expression of the weight of the gold dollar from all ob- 
jection. Would there be any objection to the word “tergram V 7 In the 
gold dollar there would be five tergrams, nine-tenths fine ; in the double- 
eagle, one hundred tergrams; in the ten-dollar piece, fifty tergrams; in 
the five dollar piece, twenty-five tergrams. 

Mr. Muldrow. Why could it not be expressed in this way: That 
there shall be so much pure gold in grams, and so much alloy — one- 
tenth of the quantity of pure gold ? 

Mr. Elliott. Well, we would have that interminable decimal. The 
alloy would be one-ninth of the weight of the pure gold, not one-tenth ; 
one-tenth of the entire weight, but only one-ninth of the weight of pure 
metal. You divide the whole into ten parts ; one of these represents 
the alloy. 

Mr. JMuldrow. Why cannot that be stamped on the coin, showing 
the precise weight of the pure gold in grams and the weight of the alloy? 

Mr. Maish. The tergraui is not very well understood, but involves 
some difficulty. 

The Chairman. What do you think about abolishing the gold dollar 
and using eagles and double eagles? 

Mr. Elliott. I have little, if any, objection to that. 

Mr. Maisii. What is this six-dollar coin you propose? 

Mr. Elliott. It contains a decagram of standard gold, nine-tenths 
pure. I have a three-dollar piece. It weighs almost exactly five grams. 
One of our three-dollar coins would really weigh about five grams. 
They would weigh a trifle more, but it is worn. It is a three-dollar 

Mr. Maish. Is that the coin about which Hr. Farr wrote? 

Mr. Elliott. No, sir. He recommended the decagram. The pro- 
posed three-dollar piece is a half-decagram of gold of nine-tenths fine- 

Mr. Muldrow. Is the gold dollar a very useful coin ? 

Mr. Elliott. It is not used much. It gives a great deal of trouble 
at the mints. If the mint authorities were consulted, they would, I 
think, sooner drop the dollar than any other coin. 

Mr. Maish. What is the weight of this (the goloid dollar) ? 

Mr. Elliott. This weighs fifty tergrams and a trifle over. Our ten- 
dollar gold piece is almost exactly fifty tergrams. This coin is based 



on our gold coin, because the ratio of one to sixteen, as existing under 
our system between gold and silver, is preserved. It contains one grain 
of gold to twenty-four grains of silver. This contains 40 per cent, in 
value of gold aud GO per cent, of silver, making 100. It weighs 
almost exactly fifty tergrams, the weight of the gold being to the silver 
as one to twenty four. It has the same weight as the eagle, and the 
value of the gold contained in it is forty cents. It would weigh, in mil- 
ligrams, 16.718. 

Dr. Hubbell. In the metric system, making ^je gram the unit is 
mere nomenclature. We should preserve the expression milligram. I 
have prepared a bill which will meet this entire difficulty. 

The Chairman. Please read it for the benefit of the committee. 

Dr. Hubbell. I am indebted to Mr. Elliott for a large portion of the 
information derived. I find it can be done without using the word 
“ tergram.” Tfie expression nine-tenths showing the fiueness is strictly 
metrical and decimal. 

Mr. Maish. You say that the metrical system is decimal ? 

Mr. Elliott. It is substantially decimal. The present bill divides 
the gram of nine-tenths gold into six parts, ten of which make a dollar. 

The Latin Union divides the gram of nine-tenths gold into thirty- 
one parts, ten of which make a franc. 

The German Empire divides the gram into a still more complex num- 
ber of parts, to wit, into 25.11 parts, ten of which make a mark. 

The Scandinavian nations (Sweden, Norway, aud Denmark) divide 
the gram into 22.32 parts, ten of which make a crown. 

It will be seen that, as compared with the divisions of the gram by 
the so called metric countries of the Latin Union, the German Empire, 
and the Scandinavian nations, the proposed division iu the bill now un- 
der consideration is extremely simple. It cannot practically be made 
more simple. 

It is desirable to compare values expressed in weights of pure gold 
with values expressed iu weights of standard gold (and the reverse), 
and such comparison necessarily involves multiplication and division 
by nine, or by one of its component factors, three. 

If coins were made of pure gold this reciprocal multiplication and 
division by nine or three could be avoided, but coins are not made of 
pure metal. The pronouuced judgment of mankind is that alloy must 
be combined in order to give the requisite hardness and prevent abra~ 
sion. The pure metal is too soft and liable to rapid reduction in weight 
through wear. 

The proportion of alloy to pure metal which best facilitates computa- 
tions is as one to nine, making the alloy one-tenth of the entire weight, 
and the pure metal nine-tenths of the entire weight. The weight of 
pure metal proportioned to the entire weight is then as niue to ten. 
This last form of the ratio is the simplest possible for computation, in- 
volving only multiplication and division by the simpler number, three, 
instead of by the larger number, niue. 

The metric dollar proposed will contain of pure metal one and a 
half, or three two (l| or |) grams and will weigh five-thirds or ten- 
sixths (|- or J jf-) grams, therefore to convert weights of standard 
metal expressed in grams into metric dollars all that will be required 
will be to multiply by six-tenths ( T 6 ff ), and, couversely, to convert values 
expressed in metric dollars to weight iu grams of standard metal, to 
multiply by ten aud divide by six, or by 1 6 °. 

Again, to convert weights of pure metal expressed in grams to 
metric dollars, multiply by § (that is, multiply by two and divide by 3), 



or conversely, to convert values expressed in metric dollars to weight hi 
grams of pure metal, divide by § or multiply by | (that is multiply 
by three and divide by two). These processes, of course, are all easily 
understood and applied. 

In our present system, instead of the simple form of or §, the fac- 
tors are 5.98153 and 0.064615, respectively ; numbers exceedingly diffi- 
cult for ordinary minds to remember, or on occasion to apply. 

The simplest process now to make these conversions in our existing 
system is, first, to make the reduction according to the proposed metric 
system ; and, secondly , to add or subtract, as the cases may be, to or 
from the result three-tenths of one per cent. of 1 %) of such result, 
or, more accurately, three hundred and eight one hundred thousandth 
(.000308) of such result. 

The bill suggested by Dr. Hubbell, to regulate the coinage, was then 
read as follows : 

Sir : H. R. 2G90, within, is the hill in print I prepared and presented to the com- 
mittee, embodying my views of a regular, entire system of coinage for the United 


Hon. Alex. H. Stephens, 

Chairman Committee on Coinage. 

A BILL to establish the metric system in the coins of the United State3 of America, and provide 

for and regulate the coinage. 

Beit enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America 
in Congress assembled, That the coin of the United States shall be established and 
designated on the metric system, as follows: The one-ceut piece shall he the lowest 

denominational unit, and the one dollar piece shall be highest and only other denom- 
inational unit equivalent to one hundred cents. The one-cent piece shall be stamped 
“ 1 cent ” ; the twentieth part of a dollar shall be stamped “ 5 cent” ; the tenth part 
of a dollar shall be stamped “ 10 cent ”; the quarter of a dollar shall he stamped “ 25 
cent” ; the half of a dollar shall be stamped “ 50 cent” ; the dollar shall he stamped 
100 cent”; all in figures preceding the word “cent”; and the dollar shall contain 
the words “one dollar.” The dollar shall be the denominational unit of all coin of 
greater value. The half-eagle of gold shall be stamped “ five dollar” ; the eagle of gold 
shall be stamped “ten dollar”; the double eagle of gold shall be stamped “twenty 

Sec. 2. The metric weight of all coin above the five-cent piece shall be stamped 
thereon in figures denoting the weight thereof in milligrams, with a decimal point to 
denote grams, and the letters “mgs” to deuote milligrams; but no appreciable varia- 
tion shall be made in the weight of the coin, as heretofore provided by law in Troy 
grains, the milligram being a metric measure within the variable allowance now tol- 
.erated in coinage. 

Sec. 3. The weight of the same coin shall also be stamped thereon in Troy grains, 
respectively, in figures and letters, “ grs ” to denote grains, together with the 
letter “ S ” to deuote silver, and the letter “G” to denote gold, and the fineness of 
the metal stated in suitable figures, with the letter “F” to elenote fine ; and the pro- 
portion of standard silver anti of standard gold in tho coin shall be stated in figures 

Sec. 4 . The ninth section of tho act of January eighteenth, eighteen hundred and 
thirty-seven, entitled “An act supplementary to the act entitled ‘An act to establish a 
mint, and regulating the coins of the United States,’” and which declared four hun- 
dred and twelve and a half grains of silver, nine hundred fine, to be a lawful dollar of 
the United States, is hereby declared as continuing in full force and effect in relation 
to said dollar ; and such silver dollars are lawful money and a legal tender in payment 
of all debts, public and private, not exceeding one hundred dollars in amount ; and 
the coinage of said silver dollars is hereby authorized aud directed. And it shall not 
be lawful to make any contract for a loan of money, or of notes issued by authority of 
the United States, discriminating in favor of one kind of money as against another 
kind of money so issued, except as expressly provided by law: Provided, That all 
loans may be contracted to be repaid in the same kind of money actually loaned. 

Sec. 5. There shall be coined one-hundred-cent coins, or dollars; fifty-cent coins, or 
half-dollars; twenty-five-cent coins, or quarter- dollars ; and ten-cent coins, or dimes, 
consisting of eight hundred and sixty-four thousandths parts of pure silver, thirty-six 
thousandths parts of pure gold, and one hundred thousandths parts of pure copper, 
distinguished as a new coin-metal by the term “goloid,” to signify containing gold, 



and compounded and finished on the principle patented and invented by W. W. Hub- 
bell, May twenty-second, eighteen hundred and seventy-seven. The dollar of goloid 
shall be of the weight of two hundred and fifty-eight grains, or sixteen thousand 
seven hundred and eighteen milligrams; the half-dollar of goloid shall be of the 
weight of one hundred and twenty-nine grains, or eight thousand three hundred and 
fifty-nine milligrams; the quarter-dollar of goloid shall be of the weight of sixty-four 
and a half graius, or four thousand one hundred and seventy-nine and one-half milli- 
grams ; the ten-cent piece, or dime, of goloid shall be twenty-five and eight-tenths 
grains, or one thousand six hundred and seventy-one milligrams; and said coin shall 
be a legal tender, public and private, for any sum whatever, except duties on imports, 
fifty per centum of which may be paid in goloid coin, and fifty per centum in gold coin, 
or the whole of which may be paid in goid coin. 

Skc. 6. The entire and only coinage of the United States shall consist of one-cent 
pieces of copper and five-cent pieces of nickel, as now provided; and ten-cent, twenty- 
five-cent, fifty-cent, and one-dollar pieces of goloid ; one-dollar pieces of silver, de- 
nominated trade-dollai^, one-dollar pieces of silver of four hundred and twelve and a 
half grains, nine hundred fine; gold coin of half-eagles, or five dollars, gold coin of 
eagles, or ten dollars, gold coin of double eagles, or twenty dollars, now jjrovided by 
law. * 

Sec. 7. Any of the silver coin now in use except trade-dollars may be changed at 
the mints or Treasury for the same denominations of the coin authorized by this act, 
and their difi'ei'ence in value as bullion charged to the seigniorage-profit fund ; and if 
a deficiency exists, then it shall be charged to a deficiency-bullion fund. 

Sec. 8. The gold and silver coin belonging to the United States may be used to coin 
the goloid coin, and the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to set apart 
and maintain a fund of ten millions of dollars as a “bullion fund” for the purchase 
of gold and silver as needed for coinage. 

Sec. 9. The penalty of counterfeiting any of the coin of the United States is hereby 
increased to not less than ten years and not more than twenty years for each offense, 
and a fine of not less than live thousand dollars nor more than twenty thousand dollars 
for each offense. 

Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to purchase the right 
of the patent for the goioid-coin-metal and the process of mintage from W. W. Hub- 
bell, and pay for the same, out of the seigniorage derived from the coinage of the 
goloid coin, not exceeding a rate of one mill on the dollar of such coinage. 

Sec. 11. The design of the coinage of the ten-cent, twenty five-cent, fifty-cent, and 
one-dollar pieces, shall be on the obverse a figure-head of “ Liberty, bearing this 
word, surmounted by the words “ E Pluribus Umirn,” and the thirteen stars of the 
original States displayed at the sides, with the date of coinage aud denomination in 
figures ; on the reverse, a circlet of stars, the words “ United States of America,” the 
denomination in letters, and the weight, name, and nature of the contents of the coin 
within the circlet. The gold coinage of five dollars or half-eagles shall bear the 
upper half of an eagle; the engle of ten dollars shall bear the full eagle; and the 
double eagle shall bear a design of double eagles, and the denomination of the coins 
in words, all on the reverse, with the words “United States of America,” and on the 
obverse the figure-head of “Liberty,” and “ E Pluribus Unurn,” date of coinage, aud 
thirteen stars, and denomination of the coin in figures. 

Washington, D. C., January 26, 1878. 



Dr. Linderman. Mr. Chairman, in response to your second letter 
respecting the goloid dollar, I have five specimens to be placed in your 
bands, or the hands of any other that you may direct, to be returned, 
however, to the mint to be defaced, as it would not be advisable to mul- 
tiply the number of them. We felt compelled to refuse the request of 
the members of the Committee on Banking and Currency for specimens 
of them. 

Mr. Eckfeldt will submit his statement, and that will be my state- 

Mr. Eckfeldt. The planchets for these pieces (the goloid dollars) 
were cut from strips prepared and cleaned, after the formula prescribed 



by Dr. Hubbell, with vinegar, ammonia, whiting, buckskin, and brash. 
They were not touched by acid, and after they were annealed were 
cooled in pure water so that there could be no difference in the color of 
the metal on the outside from the inside — that they should have uni- 
formity of tint. [One of the planchets exhibited to the committee.] I 
have a piece also of the alloy as rolled from the strip. The pieces were 
made because Dr. Hubbell proposed to bring out a golden tinge by the 
use of muriatic acid, whiting, and brush. One-half of this alloy was 
immersed for ten minutes in concentrated muriatic acid, and washed 
with ammonia, and polished with whiting and buckskin ; and if any 
person will examine it they will see that there is no difference between 
it and the piece not touched by the acid. The planchets were cut out 
from a piece of that strip. It is merely the ingot rolled out. It has not 
been annealed or heated. There has been nothing done to it. The alloy 
was prepared from portions of gold, silver, and copper. 

The Chairman. Was that [indicating tlie> piece] subjected to the 
acid ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. One-half of that was put in the acid. 

Dr. Hubbell. How long before you put it iu the ammonia, after 
using the acid ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. Not more than two or three minutes. 

Dr. Hubbell. It should lie some time so, that the oxygen of the air 
can have a chance to act on it. 

The Chairman. You stated that you had other specimens of the 
alloy ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. Yes, sir; four' others were made containing variable 
portions of gold and silver, so as to illustrate the difference which the 
admixture of gold in the alloy would make. The first of these contains 
fifty parts of gold out of one thousand parts; the secoud one hundred 
parts of gold out of a thousand; the third one hundred and fifty parts; 
aud the fourth two hundred parts iu a thousand of gold. These are the 
four specimens, and there is no difference iu the color. [The four strips 
were here exhibited to the committee.] If not for the marks upon them, 
I might be at a loss myself to tell the difference between them. There is 
a piece of “goloid” belonging to Dr. Hubbell, assayed by his permission. 
He can make his statement with reference to it. The fineness is stamped 
upou the piece. 

Dr. Hubbell. What does it assay ? I took your own coin to make it. 
If my formula had been followed it would have been a dark color. 

The Chairman. I have nothing further. Dr. Linderman has stated 
all that I wished him to. He states that he has made that according to 
the formula. 

Dr. Hubbell. You say that this strip has been in the muriatic acid ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. Yes, one-half of it. 

Dr. Hubbell. It was not subjected to the action of the atmosphere 
for any considerable time; the acid was washed off? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. Yes, before putting it into the ammonia. 

Dr. Hubbell. Did the action of the ammonia affect it? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. I could not see any difference. 

Dr. Hubbell. Did you test this? If you had allowed it to lie so 
that the oxygen of the air would have united, it would have changed 
the chemical nature. Did you test that? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. Muriatic acid will not oxidize silver. It will cblorid- 
ize it. 

Dr. Hubbell. You say that this (the strip) is “goloid” metal? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. Yes. 


Dr. Hubbell. It, tlie muriatic acid, did not touch this — you mean 
pure silver ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. I do not; I have not tried pure silver. 

Dr. Hubbell. Do you mean it would not oxidize the silver coin of 
the United States ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. I have never tried putting muriatic acid on coin. 
That black on the coin is not the oxide of silver. It may be chloride, 
darkened by exposure to sunlight. 

Dr. Hubbell. This is the goloid, and the muriatic acid did not 
touch it? 

The Chairman. That is what he stated. 

Dr. Hubbell. Can you see any appearance of a gold tinge on it? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. No, sir ; I have examined it, and I cannot. [On being 
shown a piece of goloid that was assayed, and asked “ What is that yel- 
lowish tinge ? That may be more a reflected light. It is not tinged in 
the alloy. I do not see what would give it a yellowish tiuge. It may 
be a reflection of the light. I am satisfied that the gold, that the forty- 
five parts of gold in that piece, cannot give it any golden color, be- 
cause here is a piece with two hundred parts of gold in one thousand, 
and it is as white as silver. I might have had a piece made with three 
hundred parts in a thousand, for, unless brought out by acid which 
eats out the silver, the gold would not be perceptible, just as a jeweler 
will make a piece of inferior gold look like fine gold. 

Dr. Hubbell. How long was this [the strip] fused before it was put 
together ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. It was only fused long enough to thoroughly incor- 
porate the metals. If it had been left to stand any length of time, a 
portion of the copper would have been removed by oxidization and the 
tenth part of copper would not have remained. 

Dr. Hubbell. Then, the proper amount of copper would not be there ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. If it were not it would be known by the assay. 

Dr. Hubbell. Has not copper a color which is imparted to, and 
which changes the color of, the metal with which it is incorporated ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. Pure silver has what we call the silvery color — a 
color known otherwise as the silver tint. 

The Chairman. I do not think it is of any use to go on with this 

Mr. Eckfeldt. By the addition of one part of copper it gives a nine- 
tenths tint, the same color that “ goloid,” according to the formula, 
would have. It is quite a technical distinction — the nine-tenths tint. 
It has not the white appearance of pure silver. 

Dr. Hubbell. The combined copper and gold, have you discovered 
whether that produced a change in the color? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. Combined copper and gold makes a much greater 
difference than copper and silver. Understand me; when I speak of 
gold and copper, I mean that we would take pure gold and alloy it with 
copper. You can bring out almost the color of copper. A piece of 
standard gold with one-tenth copper is nearer the appearance of copper 
than of fine gold. 

Dr. Hubbell. If you have combined copper and gold with silver, 
have you discovered any variation in the color when taking as small pro- 
portions as in “goloid”? In what proportions have you discovered the 
variation in the color? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. In the mint they only make one alloy of either gold 
or silver; that is known as standard, and the only one recognized as 



gold. No other alloys are made there. A jeweler could tell you better 
than any one else. 

The Chairman. I understand you that you do not perceive any dif- 
ference in the color where there is fifty thousandths and where there is 
two hundred thousandths of gold. 

Mr. Eckfeldt. I cannot see it. I only kuow the difference between 
these pieces by the numbers. But for them I could not tell the differ- 
ence between them. 

Mr. Maish. Have you weighed this coin (the goloid dollar)! 

Mr. Eckfeldt. I have not weighed them. I saw them adjusted. I 
saw them from the melting of the metal to the striking of the pieces. 

Mr. Maisii. Do you know what the specific gravity of the metal is as 
compared with silver ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. It is so close to the specific gravity of silver that it 
would require most delicate scales and a most skillful manipulator to 
detect the difference. 

Mr. Maisii. The specific gravity of silver is less than gold? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. Yes, sir; considerably. 

[In reply to a question asked by Mr. Clark, Mr. Eckfeldt made the 
following statement:] The specific gravity of an alloy of gold, silver, 
and copper differs from the mean of the specific gravity of the metals 
alone or separately. 

The Chairman. Is it greater or less than the mean ? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. It is less. It follows a certain law, but I do not re- 
member the exact specific gravity of goloid. 

Mr. Maish. I asked you, in reference to “goloid,” whether the specific 
gravity of this “ goloid” is greater than that of silvern You answered 
that it was so little greater than pure silver as to be difficult to detect it. 

Mr. Eckfeldt. I rneaut than pure silver; that it would require deli- 
cate scales and a skillful manipulator to detect it, so close was the spe- 
cific gravity of one to the other. 

Mr. Maish. Suppose you have a hundred pieces made in a combina- 
tion of the metals with gold and silver pure. The specific gravity of 
gold being the greatest, can they be so thoroughly mixed that when 
you make the hundred pieces you can tell how much is in each piece? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. There is no trouble at all about that. 

Dr. Linderman. Mr. Chairman, I have prepared a draft of a bill to 
submit to you, entitled “A bill to authorize the withdrawal from circu- 
lation of worn fractional currency.” I will read it: 

Section 1. Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled > 
That the fractional silver coins, when reduced in weight by natural abrasion to 
an extent rendering the inscription illegible, or the pieces otherwise unsuitable 
for circulation, shall, under regulations to be prescribed by the Secretary of the 
Treasury, be received at the several coinage mints at their nominal value in exchange 
for new fractional silver coins of the denominations authorized to be issued by law, and 
the difference between the bullion-value of the worn coins received and the new coins 
paid in exchange therefor shall be defrayed from the silver-profit fund. 

Section 2. Worn silver coins received at the mints under the provisions of this act 
shall be melted and recoined. 

I want to call your attention, in connection with that, to what is 
causing a great deal of trouble. The attention of Congress should be 
called to it. I refer to the coins which have given the post-office so 
much trouble. These small silver pieces known as postal currency were 
coined of seven hundred and fifty parts of silver and the balance of 
copper, by authority of an act passed in 1851. Iu 1853 the standard 
was changed to nine hundred jparts of silver to one hundred of copper. 

[A quantity of these coins exhibited.] 



Mr. Dwight. In what way does the postmaster dispose of them 1 

Dr. Linderman. They send them to the Treasury. I borrowed these 
[exhibiting a quantity of five cent silver coins] from their collection of 
five cent pieces, to call your attention to them in connection with the 
measure which I propose in that bill. I will leave. you a copy of my 
report made in 1875, and turn down the page from which I read. The 
renovation of small silver coins is provided for by law in Great Britain, 
the German Empire, the Latin Union, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, 
and the Netherlands; some of them have fixed four per cent, of loss as 
the rate at which they should be received for recoinage. They are to be 
redeemed at no other place but coinage mints. These coins have no 
artificial reduction in weight. It is not likely that any one would 
attempt to change these poor miserable coins. Whatever rate you 
choose to fix for loss by abrasion, why all right. Nine-tenths is now the 
fixed standard of all the principal nations except Great Britain and 

Note. — The following memoranda are gathered from the laws and 
regulations of different countries as to the renovation and calling-in of 
worn subsidiary coins : 


* * * The silver coinage is issued through the medium of the Bank of England, who 
are able, as in the case of gold, to judge from the amount in their possession and the 
demands made upon it as to what times and in what quantities fresh supplies will be 
required for circulation. As, however, silver is a token-coinage, representing more than 
the intrinsic value of the metal used in its manufacture, it is coined for the protit of 
the state, and not from metal brought in, as in the case of gold, by the public. Silver 
bullion for coinage is purchased with sums advanced to the master of the mint, from 
time to time, from the consolidated fund, by the Treasury, under the ninth section of t 
the coinage act. 

The advantage of making silver a token-coinage has been shown in a former portion 
of this report, and it is evident that, if under the existing law silver were coined on 
demand for persons bringing it to the mint, the profit on the transaction would hold 
out so great an inducement to the public to offer it for coinage as to lead in a short 
time to an inordinate amount of coinage, aud to the consequent depreciation of that 
part of the currency. This profit, then, levied as a seigniorage, with the profit already 
mentioned, accrues as of right to the state ; but, on the other hand, it becomes equally 
the duty of the state to withdraw from circulation, at its own expense, all silver coins 
which may become worn and unfit for further use. This withdrawal is affected through 
the Bank of England, who undertakes the “garbling”or sorting shillings aud sixpences, 
and of returning the worn pieces periodically to the mint. The worn coin is received 
by I he mint at its nominal value, aud a vote of £15,000 a year is annually taken in the 
mint estimates for the loss on its reeoinwge. So far as England is concerned, this 
arrangement insures a constant supply of good silver coin, and the withdrawal of coins 
which have become unfit for circulation. * * * There is no least current weight 

for silver coin. As silver is a token-coinage, the withdrawal of silver coin is under- 
taken hy the srate. * * * British Mint Report, 1870. 



The small silver coins must be withdrawn from circulation as soon 
as they have lost by abrasion 5 per cent, below the legal allowance. The pieces are 
to be recoined by the government issuing them when they shall have been reduced by 
usage 5 per cent, below the minimum, or when their stamp shall have been effaced. 

* # * * * # * 


National silver, nickel, and copper coins which, by long circulation 
or use, have lost considerably in weight or imprint, will be received in national and 
local depositories, but must be withdrawn at the expense of the empire. * * * 

Mint law of July 9, 1873. 





Art. 10. * * * Subsidiary coin ceases to be legal tender of payment, rel- 

ative to the state funds, when so worn as to be no longer capable of identification, 
in so far as regards the country by which it was issued, but relative to all other parties 
when the inscription shall have become disfigured, or when it shall have been rendered 
indistinct by abrasion. 

All coin having ceased to be deemed legal tender of payment relative to private 
funds and parties shall be withheld from circulation after having been paid into any 
of the state funds. The same rule applies to silver coin which shall have been reduced 
over 4 per cent, below its standard weight. * * * 


* * * 6,7. There is no law requiring the withdrawal from circulation coin 

whose value is diminished by wear. However, the accounting clerks are authorized 
by a decree of the minister of finance to reserve coins which have been returned in so 
defaced a condition that they can no longer serve as a circulating-medium. These 
coins are replaced by new ones at the expense of the state. 

Mr. Maish. What do you think about the propriety of coining these 
five cent silver pieces'? 

Dr. Linderman. I will refer to what I stated when last here. Under 
the act of 1865 — I believe that is the date of the act, 1865 or 1866 — the 
issue of a five-cent nickel coin was authorized for the first time in our 
coinage history. By another provision they were made redeemable in 
ns. tional currency. That was re enacted in the coinage act of 1873. 
Being redeemable in national currency they are about the same as a 
gold coin. Altogether there has been six million dollars in nominal 
value coined. If you create a silver coin of the value of five cents 
that is not redeemable in standard currency, this inferior currency will 
force in all the nickel coin, and if driven in, as they must be, they must 
be disposed of as old metal. The proportions are as seventy-five to 
twenty-five. That is not a proportion which could be used in plating. 
We would not realize over a million from the sale of it probably. It 
might entail upon the Treasury a loss of about live millions of dollars. 
I think when you come down to a token coin the cheaper it is the better. 
It seems to me the five-cent nickel is quite as useful. I think that in 
respect to the abrasion it will be less than silver. The abrasion is much 
greater in small pieces than upon the larger ones, in both gold and sil- 
ver. You see how these three-cent pieces are worn. The abrasion would 
be about three times as much as in the half-dollars. I think it would be 
well for the committee to take some steps in regard to the three-cent 
pieces to get them out of the way, especially those of the fineness of 
only seven hundred and fifty thousandths. 

While we are having a large silver profit, the rate of wear and tear at 
which receivable in the Treasury ought to be established, so that a 
portion of the seigniorage derived by the government be applied to 
the reparation of our coins instead of being covered into the Treasury. 
It seems to me to be one of the soundest principles, that the government 
ought to keep these coius in a good state of repair. If you have a 
general section regulating this, the abraded coin will come in gradually 
and the loss from recoinage will be very small, and the effect will be to 
keep our coins in a good state of repair. I only refer to the coins which 
the government issues — those from which it realizes a seigniorage. Gold 
is so much more valuable as to quantity that it is liable to fraudulent 
reduction. That is all I wish to say, unless the committee wish to hear 
from me with reference to fixing the rate of abrasion upon which the 
coin shall be receivable at the mints for recoiuage ; say four or three 



percent. Either of these would do, but I should prefer the former. 
The Treasurer of the United States does not know what to do with 
them when they come to the Treasury. That officer has no profit and 
loss account, and he has to let them lie and have them charged up 
against him. 

There is a matter which came to my attention this morning. The 
Secretary of the Treasury suggested that I bring it to the attention 
of the committee. In 1873, when the coinage act was adopted, 
there was a provision authorizing the coinage of trade dollars for de- 
positors. When first coined it was made a legal tender to the amount 
of $5. When silver fell to fifty-three pence, the provision giving them 
a legal tender quality and placing them on an equality with more valu- 
ble coin was repealed. We got that provision repealed, and the Secre- 
tary was authorized to limit the coinage to the demand for export. 
The difficulty is at Sau Francisco. There is from one to one and a half 
millions of these trade-dollars coined monthly, and the high price of 
greenbacks enables depositors to send part of their coin here, and put 
this coin in circulation that has no legal-tender quality in place of the 
half dollars on which the government has a seigniorage. 

The dispatch received reads : 

That the total of coinage of trade-dollars since July 1 has been five million three hun- 
dred and ninety-two thousand. All but two thousand actually issued. The foreign ex- 
ports during the sajne period have been three millions six hundred and sixty-five thou- 
sand. Amount seut to Eastern States by express this month, eleven hundred and 
eighty-four thousand. Profit in shipping trades east at the present time, three percent. 

My purpose in calling your attention to this is this: that having this 
question of the remonetization of silver before you, to show you that 
this would be one of the evils of coining silver dollars for depositors 
while the present ratio between gold and silver prevails. Unless coined 
on government account, importers of bullion would realize this gain 
between the bullion value and the nominal value of the silver as a legal 
tender in the payment of debts. I am not arguing for or against the 
remonetization of silver, but simply desire to call this important measure 
to your attention. That is all I have to say to the committee. 

Mr. Maish. Do you receive much of the coin of the United States 
defaced with advertisements, &c. ? 

Dr. Linderman. There were some parties out in the Northwestern 
States who advertised their shoe-houses on one side of the coin. Their 
object in writing us seemed to be to get permission to use them without 
incurring a penalty. I believe a section has been submitted looking to 
the prevention of this. It ought to be passed, because it covers up the 

Mr. Maish. Is not the best way to prevent it to establish a penalty ? 

Dr. Linderman. I think so. 

Mr. Maish. Would it be advisable to make it valueless as well, when 
so defaced ? 

Dr. Linderman. The people never look at the coin if it has got the 

Mr. Maish. I wish to do both, provide the penalty and render the coin 
valueless when so defaced. 

Dr. Linderman. You can do ^oth. 

Mr. Maish. If we only provide the penalty there would be no one to 
report it. 

Dr. Linderman. If permitted, part of the coin could be taken off 
and then covered up. 



Mr. Maisii. What would you say as to its being received when thus 
defaced ? 

Dr. Linderman. I should say that no one should be compelled to 
take it. 

Mr. Maisii. And that the government would not redeem it ? 

Dr. Linderman. If we took the advertisement off and found that it 
had not been tampered with, I suppose the government would have to 
redeem it. 

Mr. Maish. In addition to the penalty prescribed, you would be in 
favor of providing that no person would be compelled to receive it ? 

Dr. Linderman. Yes, sir. I have prepared, by request of the chair- 
man, as there is so much confusion in some of the pamphlets on the 
subject, a statement that will show the ratio of the different coinages 
and different rates in our silver coin. I have thought it would be more 
reliable for the use of the committee. 








60 J pence 

1 to 151 
1 to 153ft 
1 to Id lift 

1 to 
1 tO 




450.3 + 
424. 9+ 

1 . 203 ft 


1- «3ft+ 
1. 06 3ft 
1- 123ft 

59 pence 


54 pence 

57£ pence 

If we assume the price of the coinage to be what it was before 1S70, 
and the two metals to be in the ratio recognized under our system, if 
the value of the silver be fifty-nine pence, the coining-rate of our dol- 
lar of four hundred and twelve and one-half grains would be one dollar 
and sixteen and four-elevenths cents. Asa general proposition, it may 
be said, except as to increased production, whatever tends to depreciate 
the one tends to appreciate the other. 

Mr. Dwigiit. At the present price of silver how many grains would 
at take to make our dollar of gold value? 

. Dr. Linderman. Four hundred and fifty and three-tenths plus grains. 

Dr. IIubbell (to Mr. Eckfeldt). Was that metal of these first coins 
treated with sulphuric acid? 

Mr. Eckfeldt. The first were annealed and cleaned in the same man- 
ner that all gold and silver coins are annealed in the mints. We did 
not depart from the system. They were cleaned, after heating and an- 
nealing, with a weak solution of sulphuric acid, which removes the film 
of the oxide of copper. 

The second lot were sealed up in a can so that the air could not come 
in contact with them. And then they were heated and afterwards cooled 
without opening the can. They came out the same color they had when 
put in. The cleaning with vinegar, whiting, and buckskiu made no 
i mpression upon them. I followed Dr. HubbelPs directions implicitly. 

[Therearesome “goloid” and some silver coins shown to Mr. Eckfeldt — 
two pieces of goloid, two pieces of the trade-dollar — and he is asked 
upon which has been put the muriatic acid.j 

Mr. Eckfeldt. In cleaning the planchets, before striking both the 
silver and the first piece of goloid, they were cleaned with a weak 
solution of sulphuric acid. It gives a lively color and appearance to 
the coin. A weak solution of acid removes the oxide of copper, and 
leaves a pure silvery appearance. It leaves an exceedingly thin film of 
pure silver on the surface of the coin, and a little wear will give it the 



true color of a standard coin of nine-tenths fineness. Then the muriatic 
acid will have no more effect thau upon this metal. We do not consider 
muriatic acid to be a test of gold or “goloid.” Specific gravity is not a 
test except by an expert. 

Dr. Lindeeman. The bill to establish the metrical dollar — I would 
like to say a word about that. I know very well the gentleman who is 
urging it; he is a very clever gentleman. I observe that his plan will 
reduce the value of the present gold dollar, I think, three-tenths of one 
per cent. 

I think you should ask the gentleman who is urging this change to 
give you a formula for reducing pounds sterling, francs, and the German 
mark into our money. 

Mr. Maish. He has been asked to do it. 

Dr. Lindeeman. Another thing: Under the act of the 4th of March, 
1873, the values of foreign coius are converted into our standard by com- 
parison of the pure gold in those coius. That comparison is made with 
our present unit of value in our own country. This will alter that unit, 
and will alter it in all other countries comparatively. 

The Chairman. How would it do to say the alloy in our dollar is one- 
tenth and the dollar shall have one and one-half grains of pure gold ? 

Dr. Lindeeman. Everybody knows that our gold and silver coins are 
nine-tenths fine; whether reduced in weight or not, nine-tenths of the 
actual weight is pure metal. This is the simplest of all systems. It is not 
strictly according to my view a metrical coin. You take a grain and a 
half, if I understand it rightly. The five-cent nickel piece is of the 
weight of five grains, yet I think that few persons outside of the com- 
mittee know what it weighs. When you alloy this quantity of fine gold it 
becomes necessary to make a new term which has never been used in 
connection with the metric system proper, called a tergram. That would 
make a strange sort of a metrical dollar. It seems to me that as this 
would take us into indefinite fractions, there is nothing to be gained by 
this proposed change to make the dollar one and one-half grains of 
pure gold. It is, when alloyed, one-tenth copper and the balance pure 

The Chairman. I would like to have you prepare a bill covering this 
subject, if you can do it. 

Dr. Lindeeman. I will try. 

The following papers were presented and ordered on the minutes: 


Memorial from William Wheeler Habbell, in relation to goloid coin. 

The goloid dollar, troy, weighs only 258 grains; the half-dollar, 120 
grains ; the quarter, 04.5 grains. Forty per centum of its intrinsic value 
is gold; sixty per centum of its intrinsic value is silver. Its standard 
of fineness is .9, being the same fineness and relative weight as the 
present troy gold and silver coin of the United States; and by its weight 
and fineness of the precious metals it is, like all other coin, current in 
foreign countries. The size of the dollar will be about the same as the 
present silver half-dollar, and the fractions in proportion. The gold is 
rated as one to sixteen of silver in relative value. Two gold dollars 
and three silver dollars will make five goloid dollars equal in weight 
and fineness, allowing 412.8 grains for the silver dollar. 

H. Mis. 24 3 



Goloid is “gold and silver coin” metal, fully within the letter and 
spirit of the Constitution, and is of the same standard value both in 
fineness and weight as, and the exact equivalent of, the gold dollar and 
silver dollar of the United States, in which its obligations are payable, 
they being payable in coin, or equivalent, of the same standard value 
then authorized by law. 

The density of goloid is .117 greater than the mean of its constituents, 
which are one pound of pure gold, twenty-four pounds of pure silver, 
two and three-quarter pounds of pure copper fused and combined, and 
may be slightly varied within the patent. It forms a new metal, similar 
in color to platina, and of a close, dense touch and appearance ; is non- 
corrosive, polishes by use, does not oxidize or waste, and is very dura- 
ble for coin — more durable than either gold or silver. In any one pay- 
ment, as it tenders forty per cent, in gold and sixty per cent, in silver, 
this alone tends to keep the two metals of standard gold and of silver 
at par or equal, for being metallurgically bound together as a unit of 
value , they become incapable of speculative array or short sales against 
each other pro tanto. 

Goloid also itself compensates for any variation either way between 
them in pure or in standard bullion, and maintains itself near or above 
par, or 100, by its intrinsic worth, and the fact that the speculator can- 
not separate its elements to sell one short as agaiust the other, as he 
can between gold coin and silver coin; hence if he sells short lie can- 
not fill his contract, and the two metals will naturally keep at par, or 

Illustrations : If gold is 110 and silver is 95, and legal-tender notes 
100: Therefore, 110x40=44.00; 95x00=57.00; 57+44 = 101; thus 
the goloid dollar would be one per cent, above par, or 100, in legal- 
tender notes, and the notes interchangeable with it would stand at full 
par. If silver is 98 and gold 103: 98x00=58.80; 103x40=41.20; 

58.80 + 41.20=100; the goloid dollar would be at par, or 100, precisely, 
in lawful notes. 

Suppose the market or speculative values of the silver and gold as 
bullion were reversed, and silver, as formerly, be the most valuable, 
goloid has the same substantial effect. 

If silver is 103 and gold 100, as they once were: 103x00=01.80; 
100 x40=40.00; 01.80+40.00=101.8, the goloid would stand at 101.8 
in intrinsic worth. It is the only precious metal certain to maintain 
paper redeemable in it nearest to a par, or 100 standard, under all the 
speculative or market fluctuations that may take place in the pure bullion 
value of the precious metals, by its internal principle of self-compensa- 
tion; and also by its fixed unity of the precious metals it tends to 
prevent speculation and fluctuation by preventing the separation neces- 
sary to sell one short as against the other. 

And in the advancement of science and civilization requiring its use, 
as a basis of coin value, it is the only precious metal ever discovered, 
suited for coin, which is not too solt, will not oxidize, is of increased 
density and durability, and impossible to counterfeit in weight, appear- 
ance, sense of touch, and size, by any other metals. Its unit of value of 
the two precious metals, its smaller, convenient size, increased density, 
non-corrosive durability, 11011 -liability to destruction for jewelry, gold- 
leaf, or silver-wares, and its monetization of both metals about in pro- 
portion as produced from the mines here, make it especially useful as 
coin-metal to the United States for its commercial use iu dollars, halves, 
and quarters only. 



At present, the gold and silver coin fail of their legitimate purpose, 
largely because they are destroyed for manufactures, for which bulliou 
alone should be used. Goloid coin cannot be readily used for gold jew- 
elry or gold-leaf nor for silver ware ; it is not suited for the former, and 
too valuable for the latter — facts of great importance in its favor to pre- 
vent its destruction, and keep it in circulation for legitimate purposes 
and uses as coumercial coin. 

With it in use, as troy-weight coin, the coinage of the United States 
will stand as follows in denomination and troy weight, as at present : 

Gold double eagles, 

$20 = 516 

graius .9 fine. 

Gold eagles, 

$10 - 258 

graius .9 fine. » 

Gold hall-eagles, 

$5 = 129 

grains .9 fine. 

Goloid dollars, 

$1 = 258 

grains .9 fine. 

Goloid half-dollars, 

.50 = 129 

grains .9 fine. 

Goloid quarter-dollars, 

.25 = 64.5 grains .9 fine. 

Silver trade-dollars, for export, 

$1 = 420 

grains .9 fine. 

Silver dime, 


token .9 fine. 




Copper cent, 



These are all the denominations and kinds of coin necessary for com- 
mercial and domestic purposes. 

Goloid is also precisely suited to the metric system of coinage. 

The old, large, and heavy silver dollar of 412.5 grains, which is 154.5 
graius heavier than the goloid troy dollars, and the subsidiary halves 
and quarters of less, or token, value, causing great loss on retail sales 
under live dollars, and which are continually oxidizing and wasting away 
at great loss to the government and the people, can be remelted, and 
made into goloid coin of greater utility and greater and more stable 
commercial value and use, as becomes the United States of America, 
which, by natural right, in the gift of these metals in our mountains 
and advance in science, has the just right to take this lead in monetary 
supremacy, for its internal and external commercial uses, and to repur- 
chase and pay off or reduce its national debt now held in foreign hands, 
by increased production, and not by depleting taxation, shrinkage, and 



Calculations in troy coin weight. 

Two gold dollars, 25.8 grains each .9 fine= 51. G grains. 
Three silver dollars, 412.8 grains each .9 fine = 1238.4 grains. 

Goloid dollars, 5)1290 
grains each, 258 

25. 8xlG= 112.8 grains. 

One pound of pure gold= 5,7G0 grains. 
24 pounds of pure silver=13S,240 grains. 
2.75 pounds of copper= 15,840 

258)159,840(019.5 dollars. 
154 8 

5 04 
2 58 

2 460 

2 322 

1 gold. 


24 silver. 


2.75 copper. 














2.77 — 

2.75 7 

.02 — infinitesimal, less, to insure fineness of .9, and allow for oxide and 
floss cinnabar waste in the silver, which seems to be displaced. 

The goloid dollar is therefore of full intrinsic value in fineness and 
weight, and even of metric weight, or 16§ grams, it is about five per 
cent, more valuable than the old silver dollar of 412.5 grains, which 
could not be reduced to the metric system without still further loss in 
value. Handling or use gives it a polish and does not oxidize and 
blacken it, as it does with silver coin. 

Even at present speculative values, with silver at 92 and gold at 103 — 
92 x .GO =55.20 ; 103x .40=41.20; 55.20+41.20=96.40— the goloid dollar 
would be 9G.4 in gold ; and the fact of its use of silver with the gold 
would bring the silver up and gold down to about par, and the goloid 
dollar would be fully up to par, or 100, in notes, gold, or silver. It would 



compel them all to stand at par, and that, too, without any contraction 
of the volume of sovereign or legal-tender money. Its volume can ex- 
pand with population and civilization and business, and its power of 
compensation and prevention of speculation in its elements will steadily 
hold all constant, or at par, 100. 

"With goloid coin at par and in abundance, we can, through the boun- 
teous gift of nature in gold and silver and copper, repurchase our for- 
eign-lield bonds, and cease to toil and slave to pay tribute abroad, on a 
debt for which we receive only imported goods, sold to us at gold prices, 
with gold ranging from 150 to 210, and for which we never receive the 
actual value that we are now bound to pay for it in coin at or near par. 
But with peace, union, and the prosperity induced by this goloid coin, 
our exports of staple products will fully pay for our increase of imports 
incident to a return of prosperity, and all home industries awakened 
into activity will find increased ready home consumption for their manu- 

Counselor , Inventor , and Patentee. 

Washington, D. 0., November 19, 1S77. 


William Wheeler Hubbell, of Philadelphia , Pa. Improvement in metal 

alloys for commercial coin. 

Specification forming part of letters patent No. 19111G, dated May 22, 
1877 ; application filed April 1, 187G. 

To all whom it may concern : 

Be it known that I, William Wheeler Hubbell, of Philadelphia, Pa., 
have invented a new and useful metal alloy for commercial coin, and 
the following is a description thereof : 

The invention consists in the discovery and manufacture of a denser, 
more valuable, or heavier alloy for a given size, adapted to coin-dollars, 
and more difficult to counterfeit; and consists of certain proportions of 
gold, silver, and copper. The exact and best proportions are one pound 
of gold, twenty-four pounds of silver, and two and one-half pounds of 
copper. Melt them separately and pour them together, and, in mixing, 
add one grain of sulphate of sodium or sulphate of potassium to one 
thousand grains of the metal. The alloy metal is slightly heavier than 
the mean of the component metals, which makes it peculiarly valuable 
for coin, not easily counterfeited. At the same time, a dollar of the alloy 
is very much less in size than a silver dollar. The proportions may be 
slightly varied. The silver may bo increased to thirty parts to one of 
gold, and decreased to twenty parts to one of gold. The copper may be 
increased to one-eighth and decreased to one-twelfth. But the most per- 
fect or maximum affinity is established in the proportions of one of gold, 
twenty-four of silver, and two mid a half of copper. 

The alloy metal free from flaws shows a density 10.802, and with flaws 
10.710. The mean density of the several metals is 10.685, and the alloy 
metal shows an increase in value or weight or density of .025 to .117. 
Usually gold and silver alloyed are less in density than the mean of their 



This alloy of gold, silver, and copper, within these proportions speci- 
fied, owing to its great destiny and intrinsic value, is especially valua- 
ble or suited for coin-dollars and fractions of a dollar. 

I claim as my invention — 

The alloy coin metal of gold, silver, and copper, substantially in the 
proportions and for the purpose described. 



Thomas O. Connoly. 

A. E. Beecher. 

Calculation on bill H. 11. 907, to adapt the goloid metal to the system of 
coinage stated in this bill , and to the metric system. 

Standard gold : 

One dollar ’= If grams as prescribed 
Double-eagle = 20 x If = 33f grams 

S0+ 3* = 83*. 

5 ) 83 * 

16f grams = one goloid dollar = 257.2 grains. 

One goloid dollar = lGf grams = .9 fine. 

Half goloid dollar = 8 f grams = .9 fine. 

Quarter goloid dollar = 4*- grams = .9 fine. 

Being the same weight as the eagle, half and quarter eagle, respect- 
ively, under this bill 907. 

The bill 907, on which the statement of ^November 19, 1877, is made 
by request, is on a system of tergrams, advanced by the American 
Statistical Association in 18G8, on the basis of 1.5 fine gold and If 
grams standard .9 fine. The 1.5 is in accord with the metrical sys- 
tem, which is a decimal system 5 but the If or ternary division is not in 

accord with the metric or decimal system, and cannot be made in accord, 
as it would always leave a third fraction over. Hence a ternary or ter- 
gram is incompatible with the principle of the metric system as rec- 
ognized in the Revised Statutes and in Europe. “Systems having for 
their basis the decagram of gold of nine-tenths fineness, which unit 
has been advocated by Chevalier, Dr. Farr, and other European political 
economist ” (see report of Dr. Farr to the International Statistical Con- 
gress, held at the Hague in 18G9), are preferred as stated. 

As a lawyer and scientist, and as a legislator, I should prefer to ad- 
here to this essential basis, expressed in grams and its decimal divis- 
ions, because the coin asjssued and weighed contains the one-tenth of 
alloy, and are nine-tenths fine as issued by the United States, and 
because the denominational divisions of coin as originally issued by the 
United States have been on the decimal or metric principle ; and fur- 
ther, and chiefly, because the metric system is a decimal system exclu- 
sively, in all its applications of weights and measures, and should be so 

Eagle = 10 x If = lGf grams 

Half-eagle = 5 x If = Sf grams 

Standard goloid coin : 

1 =16 as If = 26§ grams. 

If X 2 = 3*, 26f x 3 = 80 

= .9 fine by the bill 907. 
= .9 fine. 

= .9 fine. 

== .9 fine. 



in coinage, and not ternary. The ternary division of grams into ter- 
grams does not give the closest approximation of weight to the pres- 
ent United States coinage weight. It does afford brevity of expression ; 
but that is so seldom stated in words as to be of no importance, com- 
pared with the diminution of weight and value, or intrinsic worth of the 
coin reduced to tergram* 

The present weight of gold coin of eagles, double-eagles, and half- 
eagles may be maintained, and be expressed in metric measure within 
the deviation of each coin now allowed by law, aud within 80 cents in 
a thousand dollars, only, less than the actual present weight. Thus : 

Weight for the double-eagle of 516 grains troy = thirty-three grams 
and four hundred and thirty-six milligrams, stamped thus: 

gold .9 fine. 

The eagle = sixteen grams and seven hundred and eighteen milligrams, 
thus : 16.718+ . 

gold .9 fiue. 

The halt-eagle = eight grams aud three hundred and fifty-nine milli- 
grams : 8.359+ 

gold .9 fine. 

Goloid dollar = 16.718 

1 G. 24 S. .9 fine. 

Goloid half-dollar = 8.359 

grams 1 G. 24 S. .9 fine. 

Goloid quarter dollar = 4.1795 


1 G. 24 S. .9 fine. 

The United States having originally established its coinage on the 
decimal or metric system as to its divisions or relative denominations 
with the dollar of 100 cents as the unit of value, can now readily thus 
adopt the metric system of weight in decimals instead of the troy divi- 
sions, without disturbing the metric values and divisions heretofore 
made, by adopting the system of gold stamp, and coinage of goloid be- 
fore expressed. 

Table of metric goloid dollars , 900 fine. 

No. 1. Coined-gokl, .036 parts; silver, .864 parts; copper, .100 parts ; 
weight, 16.718 milligrams, or 258 grains value = 100 cents in gold. 

No. 2. Gold, 6 decagrams ; silver, 147 decagrams ; copper, 17 deca- 
grams; total weight, 17 grammes; value, 100.94. 

No. 3. Gold, 6.5 decagrams; silver, 146.5 decagrams ; copper, 17 deca- 
grams; total weight, 17 grammes; value, 102.19. 

No. 4. Gold, 7 decagrams; silver, 137 decagrams; copper, 16 deca- 
grams; total weight, 16 grammes; value, 103.43. 

No. 5. Gold, 8 decagrams; silver, 136 decagrams; copper, 16 deca- 
grams; total weight, 16 grammes ; value, 109.65. 

Silver 59 pence per ounce, sterling; gold 100 in the estimate. 

The metric dollar No. 1, coiued is the exact equivalent of the 25.8 grain 
gold dollar, aud the 412.5 grain silver dollar of the United States, as 40 
cents of the former is to 60 cents of the latter, and is 16.718 milligrams or 



258 grains in weight. Rating silver lower brings the others. Nos. 2, 

3, 4, 5, down to par, or 100 in gold, thus: 


Silver at 5S pence, No. 2, is worth, in gold .99. 93 

Silver at 58 pence, No. 3, is worth, in gold „ 101. 17 

Silver at 5S pence, No. 4, is worth, in gold 102. 41 

Silver at 58 pence, No. 5, is worth, in gold ;. . 108. 63 

Silver at 57 pence, No. 2, is worth, in gold 98. 91 

Silver at 57 pence, No. 3, is worth, in gold 100. 15 

Silver at 57 pence, No. 4, is worth, in gold 101. 39 

Silver at 57 pence, No. 5, is worth, in gold 107. 61 

Silver at 56 pence, No. 2, is worth, in gold 97. 89 

Silver at 56 pence, No. 3, is worth, in gold 99. 13 

Silver at 56 pence, No. 4, is worth, in gold 100. 37 

Silver at 56 pence, No. 5, is worth, in gold 106. 59 

Silver at 55 pence, No. 2, is worth, in gold 96. 87 

Silver at 55 pence, No. 3, is worth, in gold 98. 11 

Silver at 55 pence, No. 4, is worth, in gold 99. 35 

Silver at 55 pence, No. 5, is worth, in gold 105. 57 

Silver at 54 pence, No. 2, is worth, in gold 95. 85 

Silver at 54 pence, No. 3, is worth, in gold , 97. 9 

Silver at 54 pence, No. 4, is worth, in gold 98. 33 

Silver at 54 pence, No. 5, is worth, in gold 104. 56 

Silver at 50 pence, No. 5, is worth, in gold 100. 48 

Metric gold coins in grams : Double eagle, gold, 30 grams ; silver, 2 
grams ; copper, 1 gram ; total weight, 33 grams. Value, $20. 

The value of No. 1 in gold is fully stated in the estimate furnished by 
the Director of the Mint. With silver at 56 pence only, No. 4 of 16 even 
grams in weight, dividing into even 8 grams for halves, and 4 grams for 
quarters, is above i>ar in gold, or rather gold falls below par of 100 in 
goloid. Goloid is in reality the most constant standard of value to 100 
as par. 



Advantages of the goloid coin in dollars, halves, quarters, and dimes. Gold 

in half eagles, eagles, and double eagles. By Wm. Wheeler Hubbell, esq. 

1. The goloid is in reality a gold dollar, about one carat fine, mone- 
tizing silver on a basis of 16 to 1, and 40 per cent, of gold to 60 per cent, 
of silver, forming the precious metals into an absolute unit of value, with- 
out conflict or expulsion of either. This is the dollar in the Treasury 
estimate of values, containing .036 gold. 

2. It forms coin of convenient size, weight, and extreme durability; 
the noblest metal, gold, forming a protection to the silver and alloy of 
copper against the outer oxidizing influences to which the coin is ex- 
posed by use. The noblest metal, gold, always asserts itself in supremacy, 
by the laws of self-compensation. This causes the coin to assume the 
purple-golden tint by use, and become far more cleanly and durable 
than the secondary noble metal, silver. The coin first struck at the 
mint are admitted by the mint officers to have been silver faced by their 
sulphuric acid bath, used for silver coin, but not on the second striking. 

3. The Constitution of the United States, as if by inspiration, con- 
templated the use of “gold and silver” for coinage conjunctively. It 
did not contemplate them disjunctively; not gold or silver, but both in 



harmony, and it gave no power to demonetize either of them. The 
power to coin was vested in the United States exclusively, and denied 
to the States ; hence, not being a concurrent right in the States, it be- 
came the duty of the United States to execute it. 

The goloid coin is embodying, by science, invention, and advancement 
of civilization, what the Constitution contemplates in fact; that is, the 
coinage of gold and silver in conjunctive unity of value in some way. 
The right to declare “gold and silver coin” a legal tender is allowed to 
each State in its sovereign capacity within its own jurisdiction. Any 
declaration by Congress, therefore, as to legal-tender power in coinage 
must be permissive, and not prohibitory, in form. 

The goloid coin is “gold and silver” coin, with the usual one-tenth 
alloy of copper to make it metallurgically available for coinage; its 
value, or quantity and proportions, Congress has the power to regulate 
under its power to “ regulate the value thereof.” It is, therefore, a coin 
which the advancement of science and requirements of our internal pro- 
ductive industries have developed by invention fully up to the declara- 
tions of the Constitution of the United States. 

4. It is gold and silver coin of the United States when authorized by 
Congress in exact and full equivalent of the 25.8-grain gold dollar, or 
gold coin, which is 21.G carats tine, or .9 fine, and the 412.5-grain silver 
dollar .9 fine, as 40 of the gold dollar is to 60 of the silver dollar, mak- 
ing 100, gold and silver standard, of copper alloy to harmonize its ele- 
ments, and form “ goloid,” a convenient name to signify containing 

Without any possible imputation, therefore, of selection or unfairness 
of discrimination, under the joint declaration of Congress, or obligation 
to pay the debts or bonds of the United States in “ coin of the United 
States of the standard value of 1870, or its equivalent,” it is both and 
all coin of the same standard value, and also a full equivalent, as bull- 
ion alone, iu the most comprehensive and fullest meaning of the obli- 
gation, both in jointure and severalty of application to the precious 
metals, and also to the doctrine of full equivalents. 

It also is a coin or right of coinage, incident to the exercise of sov- 
ereignty exclusively as to coinage, vested by the Constitution in the 
United States, which is a distinct right, to be exercised in general, sep- 
arate aud distinct from any prior obligation to pay in any particular 
form or manner at a future date; and the exercise of which is to be 
directed by the present aud prospective interests and requirements of 
the people of the United States. 

5. Experience of ages of the world has proved that the two metals, 
gold and silver, coined separately, drive each other out of circulation, as 
they vary in speculative value in the commercial marts of the world; 
the lesser in value always displacing the greater in value, as men will 
pay iu that of the least value, and sell that of the greatest value. 

Gold, if below par of 100, will expel silver if at 100; and silver, if 
below par of 100, will expel gold if at 100. Neither metal, as between 
themselves only, can ever be said to be above par or 100. Neither metal 
can be said to be a standard of value to the exclusion of the other. 
Some of the great nations of the earth make silver alone the standard 
of value, others make gold alone the standard, some strive to make 
both standards in separate coinage. Some, therefore, expel one metal 
voluntarily, others have one to expel the other by the duality of coinage. 

Science, guided by the great laws of nature in its chemistry aud 
electro-affinities, seizes the three elements, gold, silver, and copper, 
forms them into a ternary metal, goloid, a full unit of value of all, per- 



feet in its atoms, and, as a whole, a metal of superb uniformity of quan- 
tities and value, and working into coin of superior finish, color, and 
quality. The natural color is purple-golden, and wears with an outer 
golden hue, the noblest and most indestructible metal (gold) naturally 
asserting its superior resisting powers in the atoms, and arresting the 
oxidizing effects of use and air by its resultant law of self-interposition. 
On the same principles, also, at first I may strike the coin with a face 
of gold about live or six carats fine and about one one-hundred- 
thousandth part of an inch thick, as au integral part of the coin- 
metal. The capability of attenuation of gold is proved to be over the 
one two-hundred-thousandth part of an inch and exhibit color. (Page 
434, Johnson’s Universal Cyclopedia of Useful Knowledge, vol. iii; 
pages 593 and 594, vol. ii.) As to the color of the coin at first, 
it depends upon the manner of treating the metal after it has been 
rolled into strips of the requisite thickness. My directions in this re- 
spect are not followed as I intended. At first the strips were annealed 
in the air in a furnace and placed in sulphuric acid, which removed 
the oxide of copper, bleached the silver. As the acid took to the cop- 
per, the sulphur took to the silver, for which silver has a great affinity. 
This practically faced the goloid with silver, and a silver coin being 
treated in the same way, they on the surface necessarily looked much 
alike; to which silver face Dr. Linderman objected, and so do I, as the 
natural face is for the superior metal, gold, in resisting power. On the 
second striking, without any special directions from me, the planchets 
were cut from the strips and inclosed air-tight to be annealed. This, of 
course, prevented oxidization and preserved the metal clean, so that my 
cleaning process could not more than clean that which was already 
clean; and thus the coin was struck, showing the natural purple-golden 
hue, reflecting both the purple and the rose tints which gold, silver, and 
copper combined will alone produce. The attempt to at first show the 
gold face, made by Mr. Eckfeldt, it appears, failed because the metal 
was passed too soon from the muriatic acid bath to the ammonia before 
the acid acted at all. I have produced the gold face at first since on 
the same plate of metal. The most expeditious and practical way is to 
put the strips in the annealing furnace, as usual, and, instead of putting 
them in sulphuric acid, put them in muriatic acid, take them out, and 
lay them in the open air in a room until the acid has taken effect on 
them, aided by the air, about four hours; then put them in the ammonia, 
clean them off as directed, and they will have a purple-golden face of 
an orange hue; cut into planchets and strike into coin. I can show a 
workman in person how r to do it. A darker hue is obtained by vinegar 
and salt. 

6. God, in his wonderful providence in the arrangement of matter, 
has given the United States all the natural elements of prosperity. If 
it will only be wise and use them, and not deny them a true position, 
all will be well. We have the greatest mines in tbe world of all the 
precious metals needed as the sovereign money basis, of unparalleled 
prosperity, induced by productive industry. 

All that the people need is an abundance of gold and silver coin, 
interchangeable with about $400,000,000 of sovereign money notes — 
about $SOO,OOO,O0O in all of sovereign money, $20 to each per capita, as 
an assured basis of representative valuation for interchange and the 
fulfillment of contracts, on a steady basis of valuations — and industry 
and enterprise, now crushed to the dust and weeping in ashes and des- 
olation, will, revived by hope and assured support, spring into activity 



and rise with resistless power into matchless prosperity and progress 
among the nations of the earth. 

7. The Director of the Mint asserts, what is undeniable, that at pres- 
ent the capacity of the mints to coin the goloid metal is fully equal to 
$6,000,000 or $8,000,000 per month, or $72,000,000 to $96,000,000 a year; 
while of silver coin alone it is only $36,000,000 a year; a difference in 
favor of goloid of $36,000,000 to $60,000,000 alone. 

This could be readily increased to $100,000,000 and $120,000,000 a 
year by slight additions. 

While to coin that much silver coin would require the building ot 
mints, the expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and many 
months, yes perhaps years, of time to erect them. While the country 
is perishing for want of the money, and when silver is obtained it drives 
gold out. itself is exported to China and elsewhere, is destroyed in the arts, 
and turned away thereby from its legitimate channel and duty of coined 
money as a sovereign basis or medium of exchange in conducting the 
industrial and commercial prosperity of the people. That is the only 
legitimate function of coined money. To destroy the coin is against 
publie policy and a perversion of its purpose. 

Gold bullion and silver bullion alone should be used for jewelry, silver- 
ware, and in the arts; not the coin. 

Goloid coin has a tendency to prevent this ruinous destruction, to 
itself assert its legitimate position as coin for the purposes and uses of 
money, and to compel the arts not to encroach on the monetary rights 
of industry, by using the easy alternative of ingots of bullion for manu- 
factures. [England makes it a penal offense to destroy coin.] 

8. J do not assert for goloid a natural right to the entire field of coin- 
age. My views as to the equitable and well-balanced distribution of 
coinage are expressed in the bill No. 269S, which I prepared to exhibit 
in a concise legal form, as an entire system, the subject of coinage, from 
the cent to the double-eagle of gold, and the expression of the practical 
unit of the metric system, the “ milligram,” and which the Director in- 
forms me is used in practice in weighing in the mint. Thus, I think, 
proving that, in arriving at its determination by computation, and the 
usual rules in invention, it must be the true basis or unit for coinage 
within the metric system. 

In the arrangement of coinage of the silver dollar, which may be pre- 
ferred at present in some parts of the country and for export to China, 
and the goloid coin and gold coin, the goloid holds the controlling 
power of monetary forces, and tends to hold all at or very near to par, 
100. (See Treasury estimates of January 14, 1878.) 

Its compensating power in this respect is beyond the speculative in- 
fluence of the bulls and bears of the money market, as they cannot de- 
liver on short sales; they dare not contract, either to sell or to buy, ex- 
cept in bona-fide transactions, which alone are legitimate. 

The gold now in the Treasury, instead of going into the hands of spec- 
ulators on - January 1, 1879, will, $40,000,000 of it, go into $100,000,000 
of goloid coin, and this coin will itself hold the balance of power ; other- 
wise gold might, after January 1, 1879, be withdrawn from the Treas- 
ury for legal-tender notes, gold go up to about 120 to 150 in legal-tend- 
ers, the surplus go to Europe, and we be in precisely the same condition 
we were in before the Treasury accumulated the gold; that is, without 
the gold — yea, worse, without lawful money. 

Our bonded debt of $1,000,000,000, or thereabouts, held abroad against 
us by single gold-standard countries, is the balance of power in interest 
and principal both, and the only sure counterbalance of monetary power 



that we are able to interpose to offset this is goloid, and our mountains 
of silver, gold, and copper to produce it, aided in the start with our 
ability at present to coin within one year about $100,000,000 of this 
high intrinsic standard coin. With some coinage of silver and of gold, 
and the gold on hand, we can produce and have in one year about 
$200,000,000 of the best coin in the world, which, with $100,000,000 of 
legal-tender notes interconvertible with it, will give us $600,000,000 of 
sovereign money of the most substantial kind for industrial prosperity. 

Bank-notes are not money, as they are not a full legal tender in com- 
mercial business among men, and not safe, because of their surrender- 
ability, as the basis of continued valuations in contracts or industrial 
enterprises. The banks can supplement this sovereign currency to suit 
localities. If the entire money basis of notes was sovereign, it would be 
better for the people at large. 

The goloid coin stands independent as a money of intrinsic value, 
fully shown by the Treasury or Mint estimate submitted of date Janu- 
ary 14, 1878, and with this for redemption and interchange, any sys- 
tem of notes may be maintained at a par commercial valuation, 100. 

If the goloid coin goes abroad, it can only be when we have received 
full value for it. Its dore silver commands a premium in London, about 
one-half to three-fourth pence per ounce, fully sufficient to pay for its 
assay ; but it does not follow that it will be assayed, nor is it material 
to us. We will have received its full value, as if transported as sepa- 
rate coin. Rather than assay it, the nations of Europe may adopt it as 
a solution of their difficulties, or submit to our impetus of prosperity 
derived from it, giving us great commercial advantages with China, 
South America, and other nations. In any event, nature has given us 
the mountains of these precious metals, they are her twin children, 
found often together, and converted by science into u goloid,” we can 
buy back our foreign-held bonds, pay the taxes with one hand, and 
receive it in interest on them with the other, make them the foundation 
of credit among ourselves, and thus with good coin and note money, 
and abundance of it, rapidly advance in all the elements of peace and 
industrial prosperity. 

As to counterfeiting. It is a weak reason to suppose that the counter- 
feiters for a profit of thirty-three per cent, ou capital invested should 
obstruct the people in their possession of honest money. Imprisonment 
for ten to twenty years should be their position ; not one of prevention 
or interference with the public welfare. There is not as much profit in 
thirty-three per cent, as there is in legitimate business or in counterfeiting 
the present silver and gold coin, where there is perhaps eighty per cent, 
profit. At all events, the natural color, ring, and weight distinguish the 
goloid coin, the touch also ; and although gold does not distinctively 
color the inner mass of metal, yet gold always shows itself on the sur- 
face and near the surface, because other metals, silver and copper, in 
their atoms disappear and leave the gold indestructible at and near the 

This fact also makes the goloid coin, properly finished up, resist acids, 
which readily discolor silver coin. 

The clear, prolonged ring; the clean touch; the purple, golden-rosv 
color; the weight; the perfection of finish ; the resistance to muriatic 
acid; the presentation of a gold surface under the combined action of 
air and acid, are all peculiarities to distinguish goloid coin. And other 
tests will no doubt be found, such as the gauged scales now used to de- 
tect counterfeit coin. The goloid coin wears bright, clean, and more and 



more golden-purple. Silver and all the baser metals wear darker and 
darker, or blacken as they oxidize by use. 



Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, 

Chairman Committee on Coinage. 

Washington, I). C., January 2G, 1878. 

Sir : I have received and tested one of the goloid dollars made at the 
Philadelphia mint. It weighed when received by me 1G.800 milligrams. 
Its true weight should be 1G.718 milligrams, being 82 milligrams allow- 
ance overweight. The metal had the ring of goloid — dense, clear, and 
prolonged — but the color was much lighter than the goloid of my own 
make, and did not stand the same test of muriatic acid. The surface of 
the coin appeared to have been bleached to a silver hue or color, and to 
have been impregnated with sulphur, which caused it to turn to a jet 
black when the goloid test of muriatic acid was applied by me to it. 
The goloid metal is of a purple-golden color, and resists muriatic acid. 
1 have removed this white, sulphurized, silver face from the coin par- 
tially, and disclosed goloid metal beneath, purple in color, and of the 
true metal. From the best information I can obtain of the treatment of 
the goloid at the mint after it was rolled into strips, and the appearance 
of the milled edge of the coin, and the resistance of the milled edge to 
my goloid tests, the strips of goloid were, or it was, pickled in sul- 
phuric acid, which is also used for the strips of silver coinage. This 
pickling was without my knowledge or direction. Sulphuric acid will 
bleach the metal of its true purple color on the face, and cause it to 
absorb sulphur; which accounts for its silver-like appearance and ready 
destruction and blackening in color by my test of goloid, which is muri- 
atic acid. I do not approve of this sulphuric acid process even for sil- 
ver, as it makes it destructible and easily turned dark by use by the 
people, easily counterfeited, and yields in black to the goloid test. I 
know the bleaching of the metal to a silver appearance was done with 
strips, and afterwards the circular form was cut, as the milled edges 
resist the acid. Since then I furnished the Director of the Mint with a 
formula of process of treatment of the metal in the strip, to avoid the 
use of sulphuric acid entirely, and work the metal so as to retain its 
true natural color on the face of the coin when struck, which accompa- 
nied the order of the committee to strike eleven more pieces of coin of 
the goloid metal under my directions. 



Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, 

Chairman of the Committee on Coinage , 

Weights, and Measures. 

Washington, D. 0., January 28, 1878. 

Sir : I received one of the new striking of goloid dollars. It is much 
better than the first striking. It exhibits the purple-golden tint and re- 
flection I said was the color of the body of the goloid metal. It is caused 
by the combined copper, gold, and silver. No two of them will give this 



color, and no one of them will give this color. The silver facing which 
I discovered on the first issue or striking was admitted the officer in 
charge to have been produced by the use of diluted sulphuric acid at 
the mint, being a process they use in silver coinage and in gold coinage. 
Dr. Liudertnau’s objection to this silver finish, therefore, falls. It (the 
silver facing) was not authorized by me. I also return the plate of 
goloid metal for the inspection of the committee, the same produced by 
Mr. Eckfeldt, and on which they failed, through a misapprehension of the 
application of my written formula, to produce the gold facing which 
I said I could produce. I return it with the gold facing formed on it 
out of the metal itself, by the formula manipulated by myself. I could 
easily show how it is done. 

With it the coin would at first have a gold face about six carats fine. 
The coin itself, on similar principles, to some extent, tends to form up 
a gold facing, in the natural decomposition of the facing particles of 
copper and silver in use and handling, until the gold finally protects 
them from external oxidizing influences by its greater resisting nature. 



Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, 

Chairman Committee on Coinage. 

House of Representatives, 

Washington , I). C., January 14, 1878. 
Dear Sir: At a meeting of the Committee on Coinage, Weights, 
and Measures, of this date, the following resolution was unanimously 
adopted : 

Resolved, That Dr. Linderman, Director of the Mint, be requested by the chairman 
to appear before the committee, at their next meeting, to furnish them information on 
the subject of coinage. 

In compliance with the foregoing resolution, I would respectfully ask 
you to appear before the committee on Thursday the 17th instant, at 
10.30 o’clock a. m. 

Very respectfully, ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS, 


Dr. H . R. Linderman, 

Director of the Mint, 510 I street , Wash ington , D. C. 


House of Representatives, 

Washington , D. C., January 21, 1878. 

Sir : At a meeting of the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Meas- 
ures, held this day, the following resolution was adopted, viz: 

That the Director of the Mint be, and lie is hereby, requested to furnish the com- 
mittee eleven specimen coins of the goloid dollar, without the alloy dressing of metal 
placed upon the face of the coin, but prepared and cleaned under the directions of Dr. 

You are further requested to appear before the committee at 10 o’clock 
a. m., Saturday, 2Gtk iustant, in furtherance of the subject-matter dis- 
cussed Thursday last. 

Very respectfully, 

Dr. IT. R. Linderman, 

Director of the Mint. 

C. TL CULVER, Cleric. 



Washington, I). C., January 21, 1878. 
Formula for goloid. 

Proportions — 

Silver, pure SGI 

Gold, pure y 030 

Copper, pure 100 


Smelt the copper and silver in the same proportions as if making 
silver coin nine-tenths tine, mixing them thoroughly. 

Smelt the copper and gold in the same proportions as in making gold 
coin nine-tenths hue, mixing them thoroughly. 

Having thus got the silver and copper together mixed and molten, 
and the gold and copper together mixed and molten, pour the latter 
into the former, and mix all up together thoroughly and cast into ingots, 
and roll out of the proper thickness into strips. 

Clean off these strips the same as for silver coin, then immerse them, 
and let them lie in a bath of vinegar, sour-cider vinegar, over night. 
Wash them off in a solution of ammonia and rub them off well with a 
piece of buckskin and some whiting until polished. Then cut them and 
strike them up into coin with the gold metal itself forming the face of 
the coin. 

To put a golden-tinge face on the coin on the same principle as that 
on which it wears: Pass the strips of metal through a bath of muriatic 
acid for about ten minutes, then place them in a strong solution of am- 
monia ; then wash them off with water and a brush 5 then rub them off 
with a little whiting and buckskin to polish the faces of the strips. Then 
cut them, and strike up into coin. 

The metallic face of the coin must come from the body of goloid ; 
not, in any case, from any externally applied metallic dressing. 


Hon. H. R. Linderman, 

Director of the Mint. 

Washington, D. C., January 22, 1878. 

Sir: Referring to my letter of January 21st of formula for goloid, 
when I say “ clean off these strips the same as for silver coin,” I do 
not mean to use a sulphuric acid bath ; I mean only to wash or clean 
off any oil or foreign matter on them, to prepare them for the vinegar 
or acetic acid bath. In no case whatever allow sulphuric acid on them. 
It tends to bleach the metal, impregnate it with sulphur and change its 
wear, and resistance to muriatic acid, which is a test of goloid, and 
which it resists, except to clean or develop the golden tint. 

The purple tint is strongest when the vinegar or acetic acid alone is 
used (or a solution of about one part muriatic acid to four parts water). 
After it has laid over night in the vinegar, and less purple and more 
golden tiut is desired, then it is passed through muriatic acid before it 
is passed into the solution of ammonia, color of the metal on the sur- 
face, and its chemical elements unimpaired. 

If the strips are much oxidized or rough, a very little emery mixed 
with the whiting might reduce the roughness. But emery tends to cut 



and waste the metal surface. The whiting paste alone is best to finish 
and polish for cutting for the coin-press. 

This more specific direction might be sent to Mr. Eekfeldt. 


Hon. H. R. Linderman, 

Director of the Mint. 

Washington, January 28, 1878. 


Mr. Elliott. In response to an inquiry of one of the gentlemen of 
the committee, I will read the whole bill. It is as follows: 

A BILL to promote the establishment of the metric system of coinage in the gold coins of the United 

States of America. 

Whereas the metric system of coinage, based on the gram as the unit of weight, is 
now almost universally acknowledged to be the best; and 

Whereas the gold coinage of the United States can be brought into exact conformity 
with the metric system by a change amounting to less than one-third of one per cen- 
tum : Therefore, 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Bepresentatires of the United States of America 
in Conyress assembled, That the gold hereafter coined by the United States shall contain, 
for each dollar of denominational value one and one-half grams of pure gold, and shall 
weigh, for each dollar, one and two-thirds grams, the proportion of the alloy to the 
entire weight being thus kept as one to ten. 

Sec. 2. That such coins shall be legal tenders in payments arising from contracts 
made at any time after the fourth day of July, eighteen hundred aud seventy-eight. 

Sec. 3. That such coins shall have stamped upon them, in addition to other devices, 
their weight in grams, and the inscription, nine-tenths fine. 

It will be seen that the weight of the pure metal is one and one-half 
grams. The change proposed from the existing standard is the least 
possible consistent with attaining the simplest relationship with the 

It is within the limit of tolerance or allowances with regard to the 
smaller gold coins ; it is just without the limit of tolerance or allowance 
with regard to the larger coins ; but it is within the limit of “ least cur- 
rent weight,” or of the wear and tear produced by current use, with 
respect to what legal allowance is made. 

It would not involve any necessity for recoinage. Most of them are 
worn — certainly of the smaller coins — are worn within this range. 

I exhibited the gold three-dollar piece last Friday when here. While 
the weight should have been five grams, decimal .0154 (5.0154 grams), its 
real weight, as ascertained at the mint (this particular piece), and as 
ascertained at the office of the Surgeon-General, in the one case (the 
former) 5.0007 grams, in the other 5.001G grams. The difference or ex- 
cess over 5 grams is quite inappreciable. It is unquestioned that the 
wear and tear of the average coins bring them already within the range 
of the proposed standard. Now if it be desirable to express in grams 
the weight of our dollar, both as to the pure metal and as to the stand- 
ard metal, the bill proposes the simplest plan yet suggested. One-third 
of one per centum is a much smaller departure from the existing stand- 
ard than any other that has been proposed. All the other changes pro- 
posed have been from eight to ten times as great as this, amounting to 
from twp and one-half per centum to three and one-half per centum. 



Reduction to the gold standard of France, or to the British standard — 
these all involved important changes. This does not. The change pro- 
posed is scarcely noticeable. Computations based on this are simpler 
than those based on any other. This I will illustrate. You have a mass 
of metal, a mass of gold of nine-tenths fineness ; you know its weight in 
grams, and wish to know its value in metric dollars. Changed in this 
way from grams will show its value in dollars. Multiply the weight in 
grams by six, divide by ten, and it will give you the result in dollars. 
We can all recollect it; we can all comprehend that without difficulty. 

The Chairman. How much is eight grams ? 

Mr. Elliott. Six times eight is forty-eight; divide by ten, that 
makes four dollars and eighty cents. 

The Chairman. Say fifteen grams'? 

Mr. Elliott. Six times fifteen is ninety; divide by teu, that pro- 
duces nine dollars. 

The Chairman. You propose to coin a three dollar piece? 

Mr. Elliott. The proposition would be to coin a piece weighing five 
grams and call it by some name, or a ten-gram piece, in order to meet 
the proposition of the International Statistical Congress. The unit of 
weight, that selected at The Hague in 1809, was that recommended by 
the coinage committee, Dr. Farr, chairman, at the International Statis- 
tical Congress. As chairman of the committee on weights, measures, 
and coinage, he recommended in a report of great length — an elaborate 
report, a copy of which I liave — he recommended that in addition to the 
statement of values in the units of values of the countries to which the 
writers belonged, they should be stated in decagrams (teu grams) of 
gold of nine-tenths fineness. He proposed to give this coin the name 
“Victoria,” after the Victoria gold-field. 

Dr. Farr suggested that this coin (the dekagram of gold of nine-tenths 
fineness) should be divided into ten parts, each to be called a “sol;” so 
that ten sols would make this piece. 

I think they would find it very convenient to use the term “sol,” be- 
cause the “sol” would represent the value of one gram of gold of nine- 
tenths fineness. The “sol” would be worth sixty cents, the one- tenth 
value of the proposed gold decagram. 

In a letter which Dr. Farr addressed to the chairman of this commit- 
tee (the Coinage Committee of the United States House of Representa- 
tives) some time ago, at the time this proposal was under considera- 
tion, he suggested that we coin a six dollar piece, containing a deca- 
gram of gold of nine-tenths fineness. Our present system requires the 
coinage of the three-dollar piece. It is within three-tenths of one per 
centum the half-unit proposed to the International Statistical Congress 
by their committee on coinage. 

If this mode of reduction be made, if we coin that piece, the question 
is what better name could we give inconsistently with our standard unit, 
the dollar, than the three-dollar piece, as it would differ from it in value 
but a very small amount. 

According to this bill, that piece of five grams nine-tenths fine would 
be called three dollars. I know of no better name for it. Its value in 
terms of the existing gold standard of the United States, $2.99 t l. 

I gave an illustration a moment ago in relation to a mass of metal of 
standard metal, but gold is not always of the standard fineness. Some- 
times the fineness is other than nine-tenths. In such cases you know 
its rate of fineness; you multiply by it, and reduce it to grams of pure 
metal. Then, having the weight in grams of pure metal, you will 
multiply not by six-tenths, for it is of more value than standard metal, 
H. Mis. 21 i 



but by two-thirds, which in decimals will be .000+. Two-thirds of 
the weight in grams is the value expressed in dollars. Suppose, for 
instance, the metal to be niue grams in weight standard silver, the 
value, expressed in dollars, would be six-tenths of such weight, or five 
dollars and forty -five cents. Suppose it to be nine grams of pure 
metal in weight, its value, expressed in dollars, would be six dollars 
(that is, two-thirds of nine dollars). Supposing it to be eighteen grams 
of standard metal (nine-tenths fine) in weight, its value, expressed 
in dollars, would be ten dollars and eighty cents; but if eighteen 
grams of pure metal, its value would be twelve dollars. The oper- 
ations are very simple compared with those with which we have to 
deal at present. If with our present standard we wished to reduce this 
mass of metal of nine tenths fineness to its value as expressed in dollars, 
we must multiply it, not by six-tenths, but by 0.59S+. I do not now re- 
call the rest of the decimal expression. I can give it more exactly to 
the committee, 0.598+ and something more [later, 0.598153 + ]. You 
will find this formula many times of practical use in the conversion of 
the money-values of other countries into the money of our own country, 
and vice versa. It is difficult for me, an expert, to recollect it; that is, 
the formula necessary under our own present standard. But if you 
make this change, it would make this computation as easy for any one 
as for an expert. It is, six-tenths of the number of grams is the num- 
ber in dollars. 

Take the reverse proposition. Suppose you have a number of dollars : 
you wish to know their weight in grams; instead of multiplying you will 
divide by six-tenths ; that is, divide by six and multiply by ten. When 
you know the number of dollars, in order to determine the weight of 
the whole, you divide by six and multiply by ten. 

Suppose the question is, not what the weight of standard, but what 
the weight of pure metal is. Ileverse the operation ; that is, the opera- 
tion by which we ascertain the value ; we divide by two-thirds. Two- 
thirds of the quantity or weight will give you the value — not three- 
halves of if. If you know the value and wish to determine the weight 
of the whole, you divide by two-thirds (or multiply by three-halves in- 
stead of multiplying by two-thirds). You add fifty per centum to the 
value expressed in dollars and you have the weight of pure metal ex- 
pressed in grams. The natural range required in these four operations 
is this: When you wish to ascertain the weight of standard metal of 
nine tenths fineness, having the value as expressed in dollars, you di- 
vide by six-tenths, or multiply by ten and divide by six; or, to reverse 
it, if you have the weight in standard silver, to arrive at the value you 
multiply by six tenths. If you have the weight in pure metal, in order 
to ascertain its value in dollars, you divide by two-thirds or multiply by 
three-halves, or the reverse proposition; having the value in pure metal, 
to arrive at the weight of the whole, you multiply by two thirds. These 
make the four known operations in these cases. The operation is very 
simple. Now, any proposition that will involve more complicated arith- 
metical computation must be undesirable. I know of no process that 
is So simple as this ; there is none more simple. 

The CnAiRMAN. I desire to ask you if you mean to say that this de- 
nomination of one and a half grams of gold, and one and two-thirds 
grains in weight, is the best for our coinage. 

Mr. Elliott. I think it is. 

The Chairman. Is that what Dr. Farr recommended ? 

Mr. Elliott, lie recommended the decagram of gold nine-tenths fine, 
the exact equivalent of six dollars of the proposed standard. If we 



adhere to a value which is approximately near in comparison with the 
present standard of the United States, that is for us the best. Nobody 
wishes to change to any extent the standard of valuation ; the only de- 
sire is to bring about a simple relation with the ruble, the franc, the 
mark, and other monetary standards. This is the best proposition that 
has yet been made, to wit, to bring the unit of our coins in relationship 
with that of the international unit of weight, the gram, so as to have 
simple relations with those countries adopting the gram as the unit of 

The object is to bring them in simple relation with us through the. 
metric unit of weight. That is what we have to solve. When that is 
solved we have simple relations iu our financial intercourse with each 
other. They may have for their monetary units one-fifth, one-half, or 
one-fourth of our unit of value. Simplicity must follow. It should be 
our object in making this change to conform as closely as possible with 
the gram in determining the value of your unit of value. If they (other 
nations) make theirs with less close relationship to the gram, it will be 
to their disadvantage. 

This coin that Dr. Farr recommended, the gold decagram, I consider 
to be within the range of our proposed system. It is not a proposition 
to redeem that coin, the only international one. That is not the object. 
The intention is to have such a valuation in our standard unit of value 
that the relationship with the units of value in other countries shall be 
simple, so that the value of our coins may be easily compared with the 
value of coins of other countries. 

Mr. Maisii. Have you prepared formulas for converting this proposed 
coin into the coins of the nations of the world as they now exist? 

Mr. Klliott. Yes; formulas for several of the leading nations of the 
world. I will append a table. I wish now to mention some fundamental 
units. The “ sol” I have mentioned as one that Dr. Farr has given a 
name to; it is a gram of gold. What should we call the gram of gold 
pure? A name that we could use in referring to it when making com- 
parisons? I have, I think, a name desirable, but I do not deem it 
essential that Congress should act upon it, but I have given it the name 
“ora” from “ gold.” I have found x it quite convenient. You have the 
value of the “ sol” as one to ten of standard gold; to convert “sols” 
into oras, and vice versa , it is simply necessary to use the formula which 
I have before given. 

Mr. Dwight. Do you propose to introduce that coin under 3 -our 
system ? 

. Mr. Elliott. No, sir; 1 wish to make only a slight change in the value 
of the dollar. 

Mr. Maisii. Take the three-dollar piece you propose; how would you 
convert that into the coins of other countries ? 

Mr. Elliott. Its value is readily converted, as its weight is five grams, 
into all such coius as are either twenty, ten, or five grams in weight. I 
would also have coined a limited amount of the six-dollar piece, which 
would be the equivalent of the dekagram, in order to encourage the 
movement looking to the introduction of an international system of 

Mr. Dwight. Do you consider that coin metrical and consistent with 
our own system of coinage? 

Mr. Elliott. Yes ; I think it is. It will weigh of pure gold nine 
grams. It will contain nine grams of pure gold and one gram of copper, 
it would be nine-tenths standard gold. 



Mr. Dwight. But, would not that six-dollar piece be so near the size 
of the five-dollar piece as to be dangerous? 

Mr. Elliott. I should only wish to have them coined in inconsiderable 
amounts. I think it is an open question whether we had not better 
confine ourselves to the three dollar piece, which is the half-unit of 
value. I will say that I am earnestly in favor of the coinage of the 
proposed three-dollar piece. They should weigh just five grams. Our 
present three-dollar pieces weigh a little over five grams. This I do not 
think is an open question. I think there is room for different opinion 
with regard to your question as to the six-dollar piece; but I do not 
consider it is so as to the three dollar piece. We can announce to the 
world that we have coined the half unit. 

Mr. Maisii. Do you expect the international system of coinage will 
be adopted ? 

Mr. Elliott. Yes; I think that all countries will eventually express 
their units of value with specific reference to the metric unit of weight. 
There are two nations which have already done what we are propos- 
ing ; Japan has precisely the same, and the Argentine Republic has 
adopted it. So far as the adoption of an international system is con- 
cerned, our actiou would aid it. My belief is that those nations which 
coin a gold dollar will invariably adopt this metric dollar in consequence 
of its simplicity. 

Mr. Muldrow. You propose a unit known as the u ora.’ ? What prac- 
tical advantage would there be in having that as a unit of value, if the 
one gram is taken as the same representative of value? 

Mr. Elliott. I do not wish to pnvpose any legislation in regard to 
names. 1 merely suggested that name. I do not wish it understood 
that I wish to have any particular name adopted. I am proposing to 
reduce the weight of our coinage so that the three-dollar piece.shall 
weigh exactly five grams and our other gold coins in proportion. I have 
suggested the reduction of our dollar three-tenths of one per cent, for 
the future coinage. In comparing it for purposes of legislation with the 
coin of other countries I have used the name u ora” to denote a gram 
of pure gold, but even that is unnecessary. 

Mr. Ryan. That is substantially your whole scheme, to reduce it three- 
tenths of one per cent. 

Mr. Elliott. That is all. 

Mr. Ryan. And that you claim brings us into simpler relations with 
other countries ? 

Mr. Elliott. Yes. My more complete reply to that question will be 
embraced in the reply I shall make in a few moments to the question 
previously asked by Mr. Maish. 

Mr. Clark. The three-dollar piece weighing five grams, and the six- 
dollar piece ten grams, are they in direct proportion under this sys- 
tem ? 

Mr. Elliott. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Muldrow. Please state in what way the passage of this bill would 
affect the relationship of our coins to those of other nations ? 

Mr. Elliott. That will be fully answered in my reply to Mr. Maish ’s 
question. Allow me to state one fact. I noticed about this “goloid” a 
statement — I do not propose to go into this “ goloid ” question, except to 
call the attention of the committee to an error contained iu the specifica- 
tion for a patent — a certain clause wherein it is set forth that the metal 
is nine-tenths fine. I wish to say that it is not nine-tenths fine, but that 
it is ten-elevenths fine. I want to say that the specification should be not 
nine-tenths but ten elevenths fine. 1 want to say that the weight of sil- 



ver as to the weight of gold is as twenty-four parts to one part, making 
twenty-five. One-tenth, which is the alloy, is two and five tenths, that 
makes the whole twenty-seven aud five-tenths, of which the amouut of 
copper is one-eleventh, and that leaves the other parts ten-elevenths. 
I do not know that it is of any special moment, however. 

Mr. Maisii, Is not this true, that taking the alloy as a metal there is 
but one-tenth alloy"? 

Mr. Elliott. That coin has a certain weight; one eleventh of that 
weight is copper, not one-tenth. 

Dr. Hubbell. That specification gives the certain proportion ; then 
it says you may vary the proportions within the limits which makes its 
fineness. Now, then, that is the whole matter of the specification. 

Mr. Elliott. My remark is only with regard to the specification, by 
which he claims that that coin is made nine-tenths fine. I know nothing 
about the proportions used in coining this “goloid” dollar. I was read- 
ing the specification that was placed in my hands. He admits that I 
am right. Let us pass on. 

Dr. Hubbell. No, sir. 

Mr. Maisii. As this statement of Mr. Elliott’s was volunteered, it is 
not necessary to go further into this matter, I think. I should like to 
have your answer to the question I asked you before. 

(This question was: Have you prepared formulas for converting this 
proposed coin into the coins of the nations of the world, as they now 
exist ?) 

Mr. Muldrow. What is the advantage claimed from the change pro- 
posed in this bill on the question of the relationship of our coins to those 
of other countries'? 

Mr. Elliott. I will state the exact relationship between this and those 
coins of the world which have been more recently established which 
possess a definite relationship to the gram. 

Mr. Maish. Do not c'ontine it, if you please, to that. Take the English 
coius. I want, particularly, to know about them. 

Mr. Elliott. I will first give three or four others, and then refer to 
the English coins. It is proposed, under this bill, to divide a kilogram 
into exactly six hundred parts. Under our existing system we divide it 
into five hundred and ninety-eight (and an incommensurable fraction) 
parts. This proposes to make it exactly six hundred. 

Mr. Muldrow. One dollar will represent the six-hundredth part of a 
kilogram ? 

Mr. Elliott. This proposes to divide the kilogram into six hundred 
parts instead of five hundred aud ninety-eight, plus. 

Mr. Maisii. For all coin "? 

Mr. Elliott. Yes; for all the gold coins of the United States. I am 
speaking of this proposed standard. Six hundred dollars will weigh 
one kilogram. Japan and the Argentine Republic have already adopted 
this division ; the Japanese “yen” and the “pesofuerte” of the Ar- 
gentine Republic being each the six-hundredth part in weight of a kilo- 
gram. They were selected by both of these nations so as^o conform as 
nearly as possible to our coinage, aud at the same time give them the 
metrical weight. It was adopted in both cases in conformity to the 
United States system ; and they made it as near as possible to the 
United States system as they could and preserve metrical simplicity. 
I will pass from that. 

This same kilogram may be coined into thirty-one hundred francs. (In 
regard to the thirty-one hundred standard francs, their weight is pre- 
cisely a kilogram.) I will call the attention of the committee to the fact 




that while we are raising a question whether dividing by six is not awk- 
ward, France divides by thirty-one, a much more difficult subdivision. 
It is not a simple repetend, and I will state that none of the nations 
that have adopted relations to the gram have adopted any so simple as 
dividing by six. 

In regard to the German “ mark,” there are, in the kilogram, not 
thirty-one hundred as in France, but twenty-five hundred and eleven. 

I will also give you the Scandinavian crowns. They have been, 
within two or three years, adopted by the Scandinavian nations (Sweden, 
Norway, and Denmark). The coin which they have adopted — the gold 
crown which they have adopted within a very short time — represents one 
part of the two thousand two hundred and thirty-two parts into which 
they divide the kilogram. 

The Netherlands : The ten-guilder piece contains of pure gold 6.048 
grams ; and from the kilogram of gold of nine-tenths fineness may be 
coined fourteen hundred and eighty-eight guilders (nearly). That com- 
pletes the list of nations that have recently had legislation as to their 
coinage, so as to bring about a definite relation to the gram. By 
France I of course refer to the Latin Union and those that adopt their 

The Chairman. Do you mean to say that the gram is a multiple of 
the values of all these coins ? 

Mr. Elliott. Yes; the gram is a multiple of all the coins just men- 
tioned, except those of the Netherlands. In the case of the Nether- 
lands the coins are multiples of the gram. I mean to speak of nations 
where the gram system is referred to in their standard gold coinage, 
instead of grains troy. 

The Chairman. You do not think, then, that they have a multiple i 

Mr. Elliott. The grams and the coins have simple mutual relations, 
and in all the gram is either a multiple of the coin, or the coin a multi- 
ple of the gram. In France, the kilogram of gold pf standard fineness 
is divided into thirty-one hundred parts or francs; and, notwithstand- 
ing this, the method of computation in France is easier than in some 
other countries, of those adopting the metric relation. 

The Chairman. How about the other nations ? 

Mr. Elliott. Japan and the Argentine Republic would divide by 
six. The result would be the Japanese “ yen,” and the “ pesos.” 

The Chairman. In this case the gram will be a multiple? 

Mr. Elliott. Yes; and, so far as pure gold is concerned, the coin is 
a multiple of the gram. The relationship grows out of the fact that 
you cannot make your coins out of pure gold ; alloy must be added to 
give the requisite hardness to the coins, and a fineness must be adopted 
to correspond. With respect to England, while its standard is expressed 
in grains troy, there is also in a late revision of their law published a 
list of grams. That is, the value is expressed approximately in grams in 
the law. 

The Chairman. How many grams in a British sovereign ? 

Mr. Elliott. From forty troy pounds of gold of ji fineness (which is 
the standard of fineness of the gold coins of England) there may be coined 
1,869 sovereigns. From a kilogram of pure gold may be coined 136.568 
sovereigns, English, equivalent to 122.911 sovereigns from a kilogram of 
gold nine-tenths fine. The actual fineness of the metal is eleven- 
twelfths. The sovereign consequently contains of pure gold 7.3223854 
grams, or of standard gold (eleven-twelfths fine) 7 ..9880568 grams, equiv- 
alent in gold of nine-tenths fineness to S.135983S grams. 

Mr. Maisii. Would it not be with considerable difficulty that we 


could express iu our owu coin the value of an article given in British 
coin ? 

Mr. Elliott. This proposed coin will be no more incommensurable 
with the British coins than our existing system of coinage. Our exist- 
ing system will make a British sovereign wortli $4.8005. This pro- 
posed coin will make it a little greater. 

Mr. Clark. I understand that the proposed coin would bring us no 
nearer in our own relationship to the British coinage. 

Mr. Elliott. Yes, sir; it would. Instead of $4.8605, the value of 
the sovereign would be $4.8810, which is nearly four and eight-ninths, 
or 4.89; it would be four and eight-ninths if all of the decimals were 
eights. There would be an interminable decimal ; there is now, and % 
there would be an interminable decimal in either event. The law 
that defines at what it may pass does not give the decimal beyond 
$4.8605. If you wish to continue it, it will be 6. 

It is interminable now, and will be then. It is the simplest, however, 
because the British system is based on the troy system, which is incom- 
mensurate with the metric system. 

I would repeat one statement that I made in the course of my remarks 
on Friday. The object to be attained by this slight change is to sim- 
plify computation so that the school-boy, the merchant, the teacher, or 
the business man may be able readily to arrive at the value of the article 
if the gram system shall prevail. Also, since the gram system is very 
largely obtaining for international purposes, and is destined in the 
early future to be universal, in my opinion, I think this change will 
enable them to make computations into other coins almost immediately, 
because the tables have been prepared, giving the coins of the world 
in grams. Expressed in the form of grams, it will greatly facilitate com- 

Mr. Maish. Formulas can be furnished for converting the British 
coin into this one J ? 

Mr. Elliott. Y"es, sir; if the amount is given in grams, it is re- 
duced immediately. Where the number is given of nine-tenths fineness, 
you multiply by six and divide by ten, and get the value in pure metal. 

Mr. Elliott presented the following table: 

Table comparing the standard gold coins of certain countries with those of the United States, and also ivith those of the proposed metrical system of coinage. 








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Note.— T he dots beneath certain figures in this table are designed to denote that the fraction is a repetend or continued decimal. For instance, 222.22 denotes 222.222222, 
and so on indefinitely, equivalent to 222j. 




1 international statistical unit = dekasol = G metric dollars (yens). 
1 dollar = l or 0.166 dekasol. 


1 frauc 
1 dollar 

= 0.1935484 dollar (yen). 
= 5i or 5.1666 francs. 


1 mark (German) 

1 dollar 

1 crown (Scandinavian) 
1 dollar 

1 guilder (Dutch) 

1 dollar 

1 pound sterling (£1) 

1 dollar 

= 0.2389486 dollar (yen). 

= 4.185 marks. 

= 0.2688172 dollar (yen). 

= 3.72 crowns (Scandinavian). 
= 0.4032 dollar (yen). 

= 2.480159 guilders. 

= 4.8815903 dollars (yens.) 

= .20485 pound sterling, 









International statistical unit — dekagram of gold of 
fineness — dekasol 








5. 98153 

The following letters were also ordered to be placed on the minutes : 

House of Representatives, 
Washington , D. C., December 29, 1877. 

Dear Sir : Gau you conveniently furnish this committee of the House 
of Representatives with specimensof coinageof the goloid dollars, halves, 
and quarters, on the basis of Dr. W. W. Hubbell’s compound of gold, 
silver, and copper, which he has patented as a new metal, styled goloid, 
which consists of the following proportions of each of the above-stated 
metals, to wit, one pound of standard gold nine-tenths fine and twenty- 
four pounds of standard silver nine-tenths fine; this has in it due pro- 
portion of copper as iu the present coin with its alloy of copper, &c. 

We want each dollar to contain 258 grains of the goloid metal, and in 
same proportion for half and quarter dollars; that is, the half-dollar to 
have iu it 129 grains goloid, and the quarter 64£ grains, &c. Let the 
coin, if you please, have stamped ou it these words: On the dollar, 
“Goloid, one dollar, 1 G., 24 S., .9 fine, 258 grains on half-dollar, 
“Goloid, half-dollar,! G., 24 S., .9 flue, 129 grs. ;” on quarter-dollar 
these words, “ Goloid, quarter-dollar, 1 G., 24 .9 fine, 644 grs.” 

The committee would like to have these specimens in sufficient num- 
bers for the convenience of members of Congress by the 10th day of 
January next, or as soon as practicable. 

Yours, truly, 

Chairman Rouse Committee on Coinage , 1 0c. 

H. R. Ltnderman, LL. D., 

Director United States Mint , Washington , D. C. 

Washington, D. C., December 26, 1877. 
Dear Sir : Referring to the letter of Hoa. Alexander H. Stephens, 
of this date, chairman of Committee ou Coinage, Ac., House of Repre- 



sentatives, respecting sufficient specimens of goloid coin of my patent 
for inspection of members of Congress, it is perhaps best that there 
should be at least one of each coin for each member to examine, as he 
may elect so to do. 

Also, the proportions, expressed in thousands, are : gold, pure, .036 5 
silver, pure, .861; copper, pure, .100. In the coin when finished being 
.900 fine : gold one to twenty-four in weight of silver ; copper, two .77 = 
gold rated as one equivalent to sixteen of siiver. Relative value, 40 
per cent, of gold to 60 per cent, of silver. 

As to the design of the coin, allow me to suggest for your considera- 
tion the following devices and legends : 

Upon one side an impression emblematic of liberty, with an inscrip- 
tion of the word “ Liberty ,” using as the impression the head-design of 
Pater Patrice, George Washington, who achieved the liberty, thus : 

Goloid dollar, exact size. • 

Color, gold purple, wlieu correctly minted. 

“Liberty 77 large on the upper half and reversed “God and our coun- 
try , 77 smaller on the lower circuit half, and the words “ God and our coun- 
try , 77 with the thirteen stars representing the original States ot the 
Union, and date of coinage at the bottom, and numerical value in cents 
at the top; and upon the reverse the inscriptions, “United States of 
America , 77 “E pluribus unum , 77 placed around the rim in reverse, and 
immediately inside of this place a circlet of stars equal to the present 
number of States of the Union, and inside of this circlet place the inscrip- 
tion of the name, denomination, and component parts of the coin as stated 
in said letter of the Hon. A. H. Stephens. The star circlet is peculiarly 
our national emblem, instead of a leaf circlet, which is Napoleonic French ; 
and the stars could be perfectly formed with a rose head-drill and then 
cutjftye-pointed. If the inner, top, and lowerpoints are united, the circlet 
is perfectly national, and emblematical of the “ United States .” In the 
formation of the goloid a little sulphate of potash tends to prevent oxida- 
tion. The metals are mixed by stirring in fusion a few minutes to allow 
a complete formation into the new metal. 

In conferring with the lion. Alexander H. Stephens, chairman of 
the Committee on Coinage, &c., he informed me that the design of the 
goloid-coin specimens had better bo fixed by Dr. Linderman and myself, 
and, with these suggestions only, I respectfully leave it to Dr. Linderman, 
they being an effort to conform to his views expressed on this subject in 
his annual report of 1877. 

Yours, truly, 


H. R. Linderman, LL. D., 

Director of the United States Mint. 



House of Representatives, 
Washington, I). C., January 8, 1878. 

lu addition to the specimens of goloid coin of the patent of W. W. 
Hnbbell heretofore requested, will Dr. Linderman be pleased, if it does 
not involve too much trouble or expense, to furnish from the same dies 
fifty specimen dollars of goloid of 258 grains each, on the basis of alloy 
as follows: gold, .040; silver, .800; copper, .100; equivalent to gold, 1 ; 
silver, 21.5 ; copper, 2.5, and marked to distinguish them from the others. 

Also to inform the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures 
what the market- value of the silver in goloid coin would be in London, 
at present rates, as compared with silver, according to the advices 
received at the Treasury (of quotation in sterling silver and silver with 
5 per cent, of gold). 

Also what is the Treasury or mint estimate of the gold value of the 
goloid dollar (in United States gold coin) on the basis of gold, .036; 
silver, .864; copper, .100; aud also what the value of that on the basis of 
gold, .040; silver, .860; copper, .100, when silver is 54 d., 55 d., 5 Qd., 
old., 5Sd., 59 d., 60 d. per ounce, respectively, in London. 

Also to inform the committee what would be the market-value at 
present of the United States dollar of 412.5 grains of silver nine-tenths 
fine, and what its value at the respective values of silver before stated; 
and what the difference in va“lue between the silver dollar of 412.5 grains 
aud the goloid dollars stated and the United States gold dollar of 25.S 
grains, at the stated valuation of silver (sterling) in London. 

Chairman of Rouse Committee on Coinage , Weights , and Measures. 

H. R. Linderman, LL.D., 

Director of the Mint. 

Treasury Department, 

Office of the Director of the Mint, 

Washington , D. C., January 14, 1878. 

Sir: I have to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of 
this day in which, in accordance with the resolution of the Committee 
on Coinage, Weights, and Measures, you request me to appear before 
the committee on Thursday, the 17th inst., at 10^ o’clock a. m., to give 
information on the subject of the coinage, and in reply to say that it 
will afford me pleasure to attend as requested. 

Very respectfully, 

H. R. LINDERMAN, Director. 

Hon. A. H. Stephens, M. C., 

Chairman Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures, 

House of Representatives. 

Treasury Department, 

Office of the Director of the Mint, 

Washington , D. C., January 14, 1878. 

Sir: I have your letter of the 8th instant, requesting that there be 
struck from the dies prepared for the proposed goloid dollar fifty 
specimen dollars of 258 grains each, on the basis of an alloy of 40 parts 
gold and 860 parts silver. 



As the dies have been prepared with ail inscription based on an alloy 
of 36 parts gold and 864 parts silver, it would not be proper to strike 
pieces of a fineness different from that expressed by the dies. 

The slight variation in fineness as proposed would not make auy per- 
ceptible difference in coin struck from either alloy ; but if you desire 
that pieces should be struck on the basis of 40 gold and 860 silver, I will 
cause dies to be prepared in conformity therewith, as early as may be 
practicable. • 

I have caused to be prepared the following computations, requested 
by your letter, relative to the gold equivalent of silver in goloid coins 
on the basis of gold 36, silver 864, and gold 40, silver 860; the equiva- 
lent of the silver dollar of 412£ grains, atthevariousquotationsfurnished, 
54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, and 60 pence, and also the difference in value be- 
tween the silver dollar of 4124 grains and the goloid dollars stated and 
the United States gold dollar at the quotations given. 

1st. The gold equivalent of the goloid dollar, on the basis of 36 gold, 
864 silver : 

Silver at— Gold. Silver. Total. 

54 pence 40 cents. 54.97 cents. 94.97 cents. 

55 pence 40 cents. 55.99 cents. 95.99 cents. 

56 pence 40 cents. 57 cents. 97 cents. 

57 pence 40 cents. 58.02 cents. 98.02 cents. 

58 pence 40 cents. 59.04 cents. 99.04 cents. 

59 pence 40 cents. 60.06 cents. 100.06 cents. 

60 pence 40 cents. 61.07 cents. 101.07 cents. 

2d. On the basis of gold 40, silver 860 : 

Silver at— Gold. Silver. Total. 

54 pence 44. 44 -|- cents. 54. 72 cents. 99. 16 -f- cents. 

55 pence 44. 44 -j- cents. 55.73 cents. 100. 17 -f cents. 

56 pence 44. 44 -j- cents. 56.74 cents. 101. 18 -j- cents. 

57 pence 44. 44 -j- cents.. 57.76 cents. 102. 20 -j- cents. 

58 pence 44. 44 -j- cents. 58. 77 cents. 103. 21 -j- cents. 

59 pence 44. 44 -j- cents. 59. 78 cents. 104. 22 -j-'cents. 

60 pence 44. 44 4- cents. 60.8 cents. 105. 24 -j- cents. 

3d. The equivalent of the silver dollar of 412£ grains : 

54 pence 

55 pence 

56 pence 

57 pence 

58 pence 

59 pence 

60 pence 

91.56 cents. 

93. 25 cents. 

94. 94 cents. 
96. 64 cents. 
98. 33 cents. 

100. 03 cents. 

101. 72 cents. 

4th. The difference in value between the silver dollar of 412.} grains 
and the goloid dollar, on the basis of gold 36, silver 864 : 

Silver at— Difference. 

54 pence 3.41 cents in favor of goloid. 

55 pence 2.74 cents in favor of goloid. 

56 pence 2.06 cents in favor of goloid. 

57 pence , 1.38 cents in favor of goloid. 

58 pence 71 cent in favor of goloid. 

59 pence 03 cent in favor of goloid. 

60 pence 65 cent in favor of silver dollar. 

5th. On the basis of gold 40, silver 860 : 

Silver at— Difference. 

54 pence 7.60 cents in favor of goloid. 

55 pence 6. 92 cents in favor of goloid. 

56 pence 6.24 cents in favor of goloid. 

57 pence 5.56 cents in favor of goloid. 

58 pence 4. 88 cents in favor of goloid. 

59 pence 4. 19 cents in favor of goloid' 

<50 pence 3. 52 cents in favor of goloid. 



6th. Difference between the goloid dollar and the United States gold 
dollar; goloid on the basis of gold 36, silver 864: 

Silver :it— Difference. 

f>4 pence 5.03 cents in favor of gold dollar. 

55 pence 4.01 cents in favor of gold dollar. 

56 pence 3 cents in favor of gold dollar. 

57 pence - 1.98 cents in favor of gold dollar. 

58 pence 96 cent in favor of gold dollar. 

59 pence 06 cent in favor of goloid dollar. 

60 pence 1.07 cents in favor of goloid dollar. 

7th. On the basis of gold 40, silver 860 : 

Silver at— Difference. 

54 pence 84 cent in favor of gold dollar. 

55' pence 17 cent in favor of goloid dollar. 

56 pence 1.18 cents in favor of goloid dollar. 

57 pence 2.20 cents in favor of goloid dollar. 

58 pence 3.21 cents in favor of goloid dollar. 

59 pence 4.22 cents in favor of goloid dollar. 

60 pence 5.24 cents in favor of goloid dollar. 

Very respectfully, 


Director . 

Hou. Alexander H. Stephens, 

Chairman House Committee on Coinage. 

Treasury Department, 

Office of the Director of the Mint, 

Washington, B. C., January 15, 1878. 

Sir : I have received from the mint at Philadelphia ten dollar pieces 
struck in an alloy styled “ goloid,” in compliance with your request of 
the 27th ultimo, which are held subject to your orders. 

The mint will be reimbursed for the bullion contained, four dollars in 
gold and six T % 2 ¥ dollars in -fractional silver, which amounts you will 
please transmit to this office. 

Very respectfully, 



Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, 

Chairman House Committee on Coinage. 


Washington, Ga., January 18, 1878. 

Mi r Dear Sir: I herewith send my metrical ideas, reduced to practi- 
cal form, in a series of tables ready for use. I send also an argumeut 
in favor of the proposed modified form of the metric system. The modi- 
fications are the condensed essence of much thought, intended to aid a 
great practical reform to go down. The desire for the introduction of 
the system is much more general than the proper appreciation of its dif- 
ficulties, which, unfortunately, are much greater in fact than in appear- 
ance. If you set it afloat successfully in Congress, a great work indeed 



will have beeu accomplished, vastly transcending in real importance its 
seeming insignificance. 

(p There really lies the trouble. The real means have been despised, 
viz, adaptation , and the whole system is therefore still a dead letter; a 
pretty scientific toy, instead of a great labor-saving machine to the mil- 
lions of mankind. But 1 need say no more of this to you, for you already 
appreciate it. Twelve years have not introduced a solitary table of the 
metric system into a solitary class or profession of the American people. 

You will remember a note ou this subject some years ago, addressed 
to you, when out of public life, as to a philosophical statesman interested 
in everything promotive of human progress. I now address you offi- 
cially as chairman of the Committee on Weights, Measures, and Coin- 
age, and as one ever deeply interested in matters not temporary, local, 
or partisan, but of permanent benefit to the whole country and all its 
classes and interests. 

Yours, very respectfully, 


Hon. Alexander H. Stephens, 

Chairman , &c. 


In favor of well-considered Congressional action for the better intro- 
duction of the metric system may be urged: 

1. The clear constitutional right of Congress to fix the standard of 
weights and measures, the corresponding duty, and the great impor- 
tance of its exercise, now generally admitted. 

It is no doubtful power, but one with which Congress is especially 
charged, and of which it is the only, as it is the best and proper, depos- 
itary. Its exercise is no trespass upou the rights of any — of State or 
people — but of common benefit to them all. 

2. There has already been some useful action, which needs to be per- 

Under the wise suggestion of Thomas Jefferson the decimal system 
of currency was adopted in , which has been of inestimable service 
to the whole country and to all classes of society, saving to all mer- 
chants, bookkeepers, bankers, and accountants, and to citizens gen- 
erally, including school children, immense labor in calculation in the 
daily transactions of life and in the details of business. In every pro- 
cess — addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and yet more in 
percentage, interest, insurance, commissions, and the like — through all 
the details of common life, its immense advantages are felt. 

This shows what can be done by a good system. We are ever forget- 
ful of the advantages to which we have become accustomed ; but in the 
present case they are endless. 

At a later period, in the question of the introduction of the metric 
system as a whole, the unfavorable report of John Quincy Adams in 
3821 was the occasion of a long delay. His report was very able and 
elaborate. His appreciation of the merits of the system was high ; but 
of the difficulties equally, and perhaps excessively, high. 

It was not until I860 that Congress at last passed the act authorizing 
its use. In 187- the gold dollar was made to conform as nearly as prac- 
ticable to metric weight. The general subject is now again before Con- 
gress and the public, by virtue of the resolution of November 0, 1877, 
requesting the views of the heads of departments as to its introduction 



into their official transactions, by way of bringing the public more in 
contact with the system. 

Aside from Congressional action, there has been much private effort. 
Under the auspices of the University of the State of New York, two 
elaborate reports on the subject of metric reform have been made : the 
first, by Prof. Charles Davies, unfavorable, and regarding the difficulties 
great and almost insuperable; the second, by President F. A. P. Barnard, 
of Columbia College, New York City, strongly favorable, and perhaps the 
most full and valuable review of the subject ever presented. Thus 
there has been large outside co operation of a voluntary character, indi- 
vidual and by associations, scientific and business. 

3. Next in order we must refer to the utterly unavailing character cf 
all the action of Congress heretofore taken, and of all the informal and 
outside efforts, and the entire failure of the people to adopt the metric 
system, notwithstanding all those efforts. What have twelve years of 
trial exhibited? We see here a discouraging aspect of the case. The 
law is a dead letter, virtually void. %s a fact, no single class of the 
community yet uses a single table of the metric system. All the pro- 
posed advantages in the other tables akin to those in the table of deci- 
mal currency have heretofore failed to be realized. 

4. There is evident need of inquiry in order to remedy this evil. Has 
a common system become less important than formerly ? On the con- 
trary, the growing importance of a common system, internally and 
externally, is obvious. Intercourse of all sorts — business, scientific, 
practical — is constantly increasing. 

Whatever reasons applied in 1787 for uniformity and for a good prac- 
tical system among the thirteen States, apply now with incomparably 
greater force to the intercourse of thirty-eight States and an immensely 
enlarged commerce with foreign powers. Our internal and external 
trade have alike increased cuormously. Intercourse with Europe now 
is quicker and more constant than then between the distant States. 
New York and Georgia were then more remote in time than New York 
and any part of Europe now, or many parts of Asia or Africa. 

Congress for good reasons passed the act of 1866. The reasons grow 
stronger year by year — commercial, scientific, personal — with increase of 
exchange, of travel, of calculation, of the interchange of productions 
and the interchange of knowledge. If that act has virtually failed of 
its purpose, it must by new action be made effective and practical. 

The duty devolves on Congress, therefore, to inquire diligently into 
the impediments and causes of delay. No other authority is adequate, 
and none other provided; and it is the duty of Congress to the whole 
country, as a matter of universal concern, affecting all interests and all 
classes, being no question of doubtful power or policy, to see to this 
great practical reform ; watching against failure, careful to secure results, 
and adapting means to ends, till the real object is attained, viz, the act- 
ual every-day use of the system and the reaping of its advantages, just 
as those of the currency system already in use. America especially 
needs it, as the home of a peculiarly trading, commercial, and calculat- 
ing people. 

5. The friends of metric reform, being generally men of science and 
learning, have failed to appreciate its real difficulties. 

To them these difficulties do not exist, and they underestimate their 
real influence on the common mind. 

The result of inquiry shows a large reception of the metric system on 
the part of governments, but a small use of it on the part of the peo- 
ples. Even in France, its home, the use of the metric system is iinper- 



fectly diffused. It is worse than useless to ignore this; it must je 
studied and met. There is evidently some want of adaptation m the 

system to common use. . . r 

This failure of adaptation is not in its substance, but m its form. It 
is too learned — too remote from popular apprehension. 

Experience shows that the difficulty lies here: the names are harder 
than the things. , • 

This is shown in France by the adoption of the new units under the old 
names which come nearest to them. 

It is shown also by the efforts to nicl: the long metric names in the 
United States and elsewhere. 

According to the ever growing light upon the laws of language, the 
names must conform to familiar usage in order to suit the common peo- 
ple. Nay, even the learned would handle them better thus. 

A newspaper paragraph, in a very common-sense way, presents the 
real difficulty of introducing the system : 

To understand the metric system, yoi^mist know what is a millimeter, a centimeter, 
a decimeter, a meter, a dekameter, a hektometer, a kilometer, a myriameter, a centi- 
gram, a decigram, a gram, a dekagram, a kilogram, a myriagram, a centiliter, a decili- 
ter, a liter, a dekaliter, a liektoliter. 

There is the trouble ; and even the foregoing list is not exhaustive; 
two entire tables are omitted. Too many new units, and too many new 
words, long and learned. 

6. For remedy whereof there is needed not a mere interposition of 
authority, not a law making the use of the system peremptory and oblig- 
atory, but a far better and higher means, viz, adaptation. 

No law can make the people understand the foregoing names. 

It is indeed said by the learned that a child can master them in a day. 
It is certain, however, that a people have not mastered them, and will 
not, in a generation. The difference is world-wide between the adoption 
by a government or by the heads of departments of a government and 
the adoption by the people at large. 

Not by declaring the difficulties small, but by making them so, is the 
evil to be remedied. It has been a disastrous mistake heretofore that 
they have been underrated. 

7. The following principles are suggested, as the result of much 
thought, to aid in the solution : 

Every reduction and simplification helps. There will be plenty of 
difficulty left in overcoming the inertia of the common mind when re- 
duced to a minimum. 

A large reduction in the number of units may be effected not only with- 
out loss, but with positive advantage to the system. ’ 

While the scale should be decimal, there need not be a new denom- 
ination for every ten. The cental scale will often do better. 

The mind may be taught to run in really the best grooves. For practi 
cal purposes, usually 100 is the best basis, as dollars and cents show 

If measures of length increase by tens, the squares on these increase 
by one hundredths, and the cubes by one-thousandths. 

A gre 

and quarters 

at practical question also constantly rises as to the use of halves 
rters , doubles and fours. Their use cannot be preveni-Pd tw 

no new names should be provided; let them be called half' w!. U 
and the difficulty disappears. ’ 1 ’ 

fficulty disappears 
But all the other troubles are minor as compared with tim ^ • 
m>fs. They are the real incubus. To deal with this difficult Z 
? for English people should be English names , and so each people 





should have names in its own tongue; the names should suggest the thing ; 
they should answer the natural questions, how long f how large f &c. 

Take the metric name, centimeter, for example. The instant ques- 
tion is, “How long is it 1 ?” If, showiug a finger-nail, you should answer 
“about a nail’s breadth,” a good idea of its length would be had. 

In the old system, the word “barleycorn” made a direct appeal to ex- 
perience — every one knew about how long it was; a cubit, a span, a foot, 
made like appeals. The yard was a switch; the rod or pole conveyed its 
own approximate length. The trouble with the old system was not in 
its names, but its scale. 

Generically, it may be said that in adapting the metric system to com- 
mon use, the great object to be aimed at is familiarity! familiarity! 
familiarity ! Even when reduced to a minimum, there are so many new 
units and so many new names essential, that it is very difficult to secure 
familiarity, and without this the use of the system cannot be secured. 
The number, the length, and the foreign aspect of the metric names will 
suffice, for more than one generation, to prevent anything like popular 

S. Practical steps. 

Let the appropriate committee, after full conference with those likely 
to aid in the matter, prepare and report a provisional system of tables 
intended to reduce the difficulties to their lowest terms. Let the number 
of denominations be reduced, if they think advisable. Let the names 
be simplified and made suggestive; let them be short, terse, suggestive, 
and English. Let it be made lawful to use these names in all business 

The use of the metric names need not be prohibited ; only the use of 
the English names should be permitted. The metric unit would be the 
same in either case. 

In the preparation of the tables, the committee would confer not 
merely with men of scientific attainments, but with students of language 
and its laws, and with business-men, merchants, druggists, farmers, and 
teachers. A system, to fit all classes, must needs be simple. Congress, 
itself, composed of the Representatives of the people, is well informed 
as to the needs of the people, and what will suit them. 

We have now the benefit of the experience of mauy other countries 
and our own. If we can solve this problem, we shall have conferred an 
inestimable benefit on our own people and on the world at large. 

9. The following brief tables, intended only as suggestive, will illus- 
trate the general principle intended to be embodied in the system. Of 
course, the exact names and the exact denominations to be retained are 
to be the subject of much consideration. 

To go into a full explanation would require much space. Those who 
best know the difficulties will be the best judges of the approximate 
solution. Some of the points which the inconsiderate would criticise 
are really the most essential or valuable features, meeting the specific 

Beginning with length, we think 4 selected denominations will suffice, 
and serve really a better purpose than 8. One of these denominations, 
which we would designate a hair’s-breadth, would serve for microscopic 

It is seldom necessary in any one statement to refer to more than two 
denominations of length, related like dollars and cents, or wholes and 
hundredths. When more is necessary, decimals serve the purpose best. 

The hair’s -breadth would be ^’ T) part of an inch. 

The nail’s-breadth, the next denomination, now called centimeter, 
H. Mis. 24 5 



would be 100 hair’s -breadth in length, equal to about I iuch ; accurately, 
0.3937 inch. 

The next unit, the meter, might perhaps retain that name with an ex- 
planation added, thus: a meter, or long yard. 

The kilometer could be expressed as a short mile. It is frequently 
contracted into kilo. An accidental association exists which might serve 
a purpose. Instead of “short mile,” it might soon become familiar as 
“ Idle,” simply by the similarity. 

For astronomical purposes a fifth denomination might be employed, 
if thought desirable after a time, to be called an “earth quadrant,” 
being 10,000 kiles. 

The table then would read thus : 


100 hair’s-breadth make a nail’s-breadth. 

100 nail’s breadth make a meter, or long yard. 

100 meters, or long yards, make a short mile, or kile. 

10,000 kiles, or short miles, make an earth quadrant. 

This would soon be contracted by English habit to — 

100 hairs make a nail. 

100 nails make a meter. 

100 meters make a kile. 

The second table — of capacity — would also admit of great reduction. 

The lowest denomination proposed would be the drop, equal to 
cubic inch. It is less than a milliliter, and would serve valuable pur- 
poses of expression. 

The second would be a spoonful (soon to become spoon), corresponding 
to the centiliter, and containing about yL of a cubic inch ; accurately 
0.0102 cubic inch, or 0.338 fluid ounce. 

The third, the liter itself, might well be called a quart, being between 
the present dry quart and liquid quart. 

The fourth, 100-quart, called the cask or keg, and being the unit in 
the measurement of things dry as well as liquid, as of corn, wheat, &c. 

The table would be — 

100 drops make a spoon. 

100 spoons make a quart. 

100 quarts make a cask. 

In weight the first unit would correspond with the milligram, and we 
would call it a mustard-seed, or simply a seed, being about -=l of a grain, 
or accurately 0.0154 grain. 

The second might be called a grain, but for the preoccupation of 
that name we would suggest a com = 1| grains. 

The third a nut = £ ounce. 

The fourth =a 2^ pounds = a double pound or bi-pound, which would 
ultimately become a bip. 

Table of weight. 

100 seed make a corn. 

100 corns make a nut. 

100 nuts make a bi -pound. 



We might add — 

1,000 bi-pounds make a ton. 

In square measure the table is easy ; perhaps 10,000 square meters 
make a great acre, the great acre being 2.471 acres. 

In volume, or cubic measure, there is no need of a separate table 
from that of capacity. If any, however, it might be — 

1000 dice = 1 quart block. 

1000 blocks = 1 cubic meter. 

In currency (for a system elsewhere than in the United States), simple 
as it now is, the table might be reduced to but two denominations and 
read thus : 


100 cents make a dollar. 

These simplified. tables are studiously adapted to common and actual 
use. They serve all purposes of expression and calculation. No object 
is too small or too large for easy and adequate expression. 

In length, beginning lower than the metric system, with a length 
just visible to the naked eye, the table extends higher for astronomical 
objects. With fewer denominations it covers the whole range of scien- 
tific and practical use. 

So in each table. In capacity, beginning with a drop, it provides for 
the smallest uses and extends high enough for the greatest ; for the 
druggist, the wine merchant, the grocer, and the farmer, for all pur- 
poses of measurement of liquids or solids, of wine, oil, or grain. 

In weight, beginning with one scarcely appreciable, it provides for all 
exigencies, from those of the apothecary and jeweler, through the whole 
range of common business, to the needs of railroads or steamships. 

They reduce the difficulties to a minimum, not sacrificing any of the 
advantages, but rather enlarging these, as might be shown by elabora- 
tion. There are no unnecessary units to be learned, and no unnecessary 
words. The names are familiar and suggestive. The whole method 
appeals to common sense. It has been largely suggested by the care- 
ful study of the currency system. 

Perhaps we could not more forcibly illustrate the relative simplicity 
of the proposed system and the old, than by showing what the currency- 
table would become if metricised according to the principles of nomen- 

It would read thus: 

Formal table of currency. 

Ten in i 1 1 i dollars make a centi dollar. 

Ten centi dollars make a deci dollar. 

Ten deci dollars make a dollar. 

Ten dollars make a deka dollar. 

Ten deka dollars make a hecta dollar. 

Ten hecta dollars make a kilo dollar. 

Ten kilo dollars make a myria dollar. 

What would be the relative facility of introducing such a table, and 
the simplified form, 100 cents make a dollar? 

The problem with its difficulties is worthy of the highest statesman- 



ship. It has actually engaged for nearly a century the interest and 
efforts of numerous statesmen — men of science and men of business. 
The partial solution of it, in the table of currency, has already been of 
inestimable advantage — even that simple table has been trimmed down 
from 5 denominates to 2 — showing the tendency to simplify. Associa- 
tions and individuals are voluntarily striving for like results in the 
whole system. Congress, as the constitutional authority for the pur- 
pose, should d o its full duty, and use all wise and discreet means to 
expedite this important reform. At present it but drags its slow length 
along. It were worth much politics to adapt it to speedy use, and 
secure to the people at large a labor-saving machine — pronounced by 
John Quincy Adams to be greater even than steam — and one of the chief 
instrumentalities of civilization.